Christmas in Middleburg
At the July 25 regular meeting of the Middleburg Town Council Jim Herbert, long-serving Chair of the Christmas in Middleburg Committee reported that his group planned to focus more of its efforts in the year ahead to “the financial health” of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization legally responsible for the event.
The organization’s new goals: to rebuild their financial reserve; increase annual revenue by $15,000, and contract paid part-time staff to run the event.
Last year’s weather led to increased costs for the event and exhausted the 501.c.3’s reserves.
A $400,000 endowment, properly invested, Herbert noted, would provide $15,000 in interest income annually and allow the hiring of part-time staff. At this point, the Myers Group appears to be the Committee’s first choice for paid staffing services.
Christmas in Middleburg, to this point, has been organized and run by volunteers and, according to Herbert, no immediate changes are planned in the way the celebration is run.
That said, Herbert expressed hope that the Myers Group could be hired as early as possible, noted that invoices for 2019 sponsorships would be going out in August, and asked for a continuation of Town Council financial support.
“Lean on cash,” according to Herbert, the event needed to pay for updating its web site and for help with the software used to manage event parking.
Middleburg Town Administrator Danny Davis noted that the Town could immediately donate an extra $9,000 to Christmas in Middleburg, over and above its currently budgeted contribution.
Council agreed that $9,000 could be sent immediately to Herbert’s organization and noted that the Committee could apply “for whatever additional funding it desired” through the Town’s Cultural & Community Events Committee
Open Late Concert
Over twenty businesses and restaurants have already agreed to stay open late on July 26th in conjunction with the National Sporting Library & Museum’s Open Late Concert Series.
Business and Economic Development Direct Gaucher expressed hope to achieve one hundred percent participation from the businesses on Washington Street during the August concert.
Town Administrator Davis noted the need to create a social media campaign around this for the future.
According to Business & Economic Development Director Jamie Gaucher the Town’s new Oktoberfest celebration, held in conjunction with the Fall Art in the Burg, “would lean heavily” on the staff of Middleburg’s new Old Ox Brewery and “would leverage all of its business relationships across the town to put on this event.”
After noting plans to increase the number of artists for Art in the Burg to forty and recruiting participation by Greenhill Winery, Boxwood Winery and Mt. Defiance Cidery, Gaucher reported that the Cultural & Community Events Committee suggested the Town hire an events manager and advised that he had already met with three possible vendors.
Chris and MaryAnn Burns, of Old Ox Brewery, noted that “they had experience in coordinating such events. “
Town Administrator Danny Davis noted that Town staff could organize this event, but agreed there was “value in hiring a coordinator. “
On a motion by Vice Mayor Darlene Kirk, seconded by Councilmember Cindy Pearson, Council formally endorsed Oktoberfest and agreed unanimously to “a total contribution toward this event not to exceed $20,000.” Council also directed the Town staff to “solicit proposals for an event manager” and “authorize the Town Administrator to contract with an event manager after reviewing of proposals.”
Town Administrator Davis reported that the Town’s formal Request For Proposals (RFP) for the use of historic Asbury Church was out and noted that “the Town was getting a lot of good publicity on it.”
Mosquito larvicide tablets have arrived at Town Hall and, according to Town Administrator Davis, local Boy Scouts would be distributing literature, “and possibly the tablets” as early as August 3rd. Residents of the Town may also inquire at Town Hall for the tablets, available free, and used to kill mosquito larva in standing water.
The “Mille Miglia” (Thousand Miles) evolved from an automobile endurance race, from Brescia to Rome run for the first time in 1927.
In 2019 organizers will be running their first formal competition outside Italy, including a one-day Warm Up USA training event taking on October 23rd followed by a three-day USA Championship race covering over 500 miles starting in Middleburg ending in Washington DC.
The 40 entrants will be competing for the inaugural Coppa USA (USA Cup) as well as eight guaranteed entries into the Mille Miglia in May 2020.
Vehicles will be divided into the Mille Miglia era and post-Mille Miglia era classes. The first class will be open to any cars built between 1927 and 1957 that we’re eligible for the Mille Miglia during that period and will also incorporate significant sports cars and grand tourers built during that same time. The second class will be open to sports cars, GTs, and supercars built from 1958 to the present.
Town staff is working with the organizers of the Mille Miglia on the October event.
According to Town Administrator Davis the owners of many “rare, vintage Italian vehicles built between 1927 and 1957” would “be in the area for the pre-qualifying event” and would spend the night at the Salamander Resort and Spa.
South Madison Street will be closed for the event.
Interim Town Treasurer
John B. O’Neill has agreed to serve, part-time, as Middleburg’s Interim Town Treasurer until a new, full-time Treasurer can be recruited and hired. Recently retired, O’Neill has served as Finance Director for Front Royal and Woodstock.
According to Davis, O’Neil was familiar with the Town’s financial software had “already shown his value by offering some system changes.”
Because O’Neill is part-time, Council also appointed Town Administrator Davis to serve as Deputy Town Treasurer “with all rights and responsibilities to conduct business as the Treasurer of the Town of Middleburg in Mr. O’Neill’s absence.”
Native Plant Podcast
The 2019 GardenComm Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement was awarded to The Native Plant Podcast, produced in Middleburg at the offices of Magee Design.
The national award recognizes “individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications.”
The 2019 competition had more than 160 entries in 62 categories.
The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Loudoun Laurels Foundation to support the establishment of its scholarship endowment. The funds match a $250,000 grant made by the May Family Foundation earlier this year.
Jack Nicklaus at Creighton Farms
At press time golf legend Jack Nicklaus, Roger Clemens, PGA Tour pros and others were scheduled to be at the August 26 Creighton Farms Invitational golf tournament, hosted by Nicklaus on the course he designed and built.
A shotgun start was set for Monday, August 26, 2019, at 8:30 AM.
The Creighton Farms Invitational is reported “one of only a handful of elite tournaments created by Nicklaus to benefit the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.”
According to sponsors, the event has raised more than $6 million to date for the Foundation and other children’s healthcare charities including The National PKU Alliance, also a charity partner.
After it’s last regular monthly meeting on July 25, 2019, Middleburg’s Town Council voted to not meet again until August 22, one day AFTER the Middleburg Eccentric goes to press. Town Clerk Rhonda North informed Council that she would be on vacation during that August 22nd meeting.