For 14 consecutive years, Clara Rankin has hosted the Summer Solstice party for Hopewell at the barns on her Hunting Valley property. This year a record-breaking 535 guests arrived for dinner, prepared by Chef Brandt Evans of Pura Vida who was on hand to make sure all went well. And it did.
The barns were filled with what has come to be the best silent auction of all with everything from antique linens to furniture. That auction plus an oral auction and a fund-a-need for scholarships, raised $200,000 for the therapeutic farm community in Mesopotamia which treats adults with mental illness. Clara Rankin’s determination made Hopewell a reality and she shows no signs of slowing down.
Mrs. Rankin was the woman everyone wanted to talk to. And, during dinner, after a one million dollar challenge grant had been announced, she popped up to say, “The train is leaving the station, the whistle is blowing and I hope you’re all aboard.” The goal is 10 million dollars and 50 percent has already been raised during the silent phase.
Susan Locke, MD, chaired the evening for which Loree Vick was mistress of ceremonies. Ellen Stirn Mavec is chairman of the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation which was honored at the party. Hopewell resident Johnna D. performed and Cheryl Craver and her daughter, Adrienne, told of their Hopewell experiences. STORY BY MARTHA TOWNS/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROB WETZLER