The annual Friends of Wethersfield Garden Luncheon

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The annual Friends of Wethersfield Garden Luncheon has become the most celebrated charity event in Dutchess County. In its third outing last Sunday, chaired by Elizabeth Mayhew with Christopher Spitzmiller and Anthony Bellomo, the event was the largest ever and, once again, completely sold out.

Nancy Hathaway, Wethersfield’s Board Chair, greeted donors and spoke of the recent renaissance of Wethersfield.

Nancy Hathaway.

Marion deVogel presented The Spirit of Wethersfield Award to Barbara Tober for her tireless devotion to preserving the beauty and accessibility of Wethersfield explaining, “In 2017, when Wethersfield needed help, Barbara was at the front of the line, contributing her immense wisdom…With Barbara’s encouragement and underwriting, bridle trails have been rebuilt, carriage driving competitions and exhibitions have returned, seasonal dance, art, and music performances has been added for adults and children — AND — this year, Barbara contributed the largest unrestricted gift to Wethersfield, for, in her words, ‘whatever Wethersfield needs’ and to inspire others in our community to give.”

Marion De Vogel and Barbara Tober.

“Barbara is a singular force. Her support of Wethersfield is beautiful, her giving is generous, and her efforts have led to the making of something timeless,” added Tara Shafer, Wethersfield’s Executive Director and eldest granddaughter of the estate’s founder, Chauncey Stillman.

“I want to be Barbara Tober when I grow up!” Tara added as she presented Barbara with a portrait, still wet from the studio, by Olga Sweet, whose clients include the Duke of Argyll, Archduke Dr. Geza von Habsburg, Stuart Weitzman, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and former President Jimmy Carter.

Olga Sweet, Barbara Tober, and Tara Shafer.

In accepting the award, Barbara Tober recalled how she and her much loved late husband, Donald, discovered Wethersfield on horseback, with The Millbrook Hunt. Wearing a Gabriela Hearst dress and picture hat, she was clearly moved by the long-standing ovation by more than 350 guests.

Virtually all the guests, men and women both, wore hats, a tradition of this benefit and its status as “the other hat luncheon”, modeled after The Central Park Conservancy Luncheon. The event reflected the cochairs signature style, including custom tablecloths donated by Schumacher Fabrics.

The guests included Wethersfield Board members Nancy Hathaway, Kelly Morgan, Farnham Collins, Bernadette Murray, Candace Platt, Stanley Stillman, Jacqueline Thorne, George Whalen, IV; Friends of Wethersfield Carolina Gunnarsson Kim, Meghan Klopp, Deanna Mulligan, Bernadette MurrayClaire Mann, and Barbara Tober (honoree); as well as, CeCe Cord, Julie and Jim Dale, Lacey Schwartz Delgado (Second Lady of New York State), James Brayton Hall, Mary Hilliard, Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels, Karen Klopp (last year’s co-chair), Peter Lyden, Katie Ridder and Peter Pennoyer, Carolyne Roehm, Robert Rufino, Mish Tworkowski and Joseph Singer, Whit Stillman, Jill and Peter Kraus, Hilarie Burton Morgan, Kalliope and Michael Rena, Alese Fisher Tallman, Ashley Whittaker, and Pam Taylor Yates. Tim Mayhew proved auctioneer extraordinaire, proving heavy bidding for four fabulous exclusive items.

Auctioneer Tim Mayhew.

Generous sponsors included The Bank of Millbrook, George T. Whalen Real Estate, Nargi Landscaping, and Schumacher.

Wethersfield thanks the Garden Conservancy for its support of the preservation of Wethersfield Garden as one of America’s finest.

Wethersfield Estate & Garden is a 1,000-acre sanctuary of conserved land that has been given to the community by Chauncey Devereaux Stillman. A unique treasure with a formal Italian Renaissance Garden on a hilltop with astonishing vistas of the Taconic Hills, the Berkshires, and the Catskills. It boasts more than twenty miles of trails for equestrian sport, hiking and cross-country skiing and a Carriage House Museum with 22 antique carriages — the finest in the world. Wethersfield Estate & Garden is on the National Register of Historic Places. See

Anthony Bellomo, Christopher Spitzmiller, Anna Hall, and James Hall.
L. to r.: Gloria Callen, Hugo Cassirer, and Sarah Buttrick; Georgina Schaeffer and Katie Ridder.
Westy LeConey, Morgan LeConey, Shannon Vollmer, and Jeff Vollmer.
L. to r.: Gail Bontecou and Becky Thornton; George Whalen, Mary Marshall Pierce, and George T. Whalen.
L. to r.: Jane Keltner de Valle, Meghan Klopp, and Carolina Kim; Kelly Morgan and Ann Goodbody.
David Stack, Penny Gorman, Sarah Stack, and Tim Mayhew.
L. to r.: David Stack and Kathleen Augustine; Barbara Tober and Tara Shafer.
Deban Flexner, Pam Taylor Yates, and Karen Klopp.
L. to r.: David Dase and Jacqueline Flake; Alease Fisher Tallman and James Brayton Hall.
Shannon Vollmer, Jeff Vollmer, Westy LeConey, Morgan LeConey, and Anna Hall.
L. to r.: Carolina Kim, Jacqueline Thorne, Alexis Small, and Oakleigh Thorne; Dorsey Waxter and Richard Armstrong.
Elizabeth Mayhew, Kalliope Karella Rena, Barbara Tober, and Bernadette Murray.
L. to r.: Katie Kinsey; Julie and Jim Dale.
Elizabeth Mayhew.
L. to r.: Hillary Henderson; John McKay, Deanna Mulligan, and John Lombardo.
Jasper Van Santen, Marina Dayton, Jane Keltner De Valle, Meghan Klopp, Frank Martinez, Lily Johnson White, Brooke Kennan, and Oliver Kennan.
Kalliope Karella Rena, Michael Rena, and Barbara Tober.
L. to r.: Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckel; Felicitas Thorne, Michael Barnello, and Eliza Thorne.
Mary Hilliard and Michael Bassett.
L. to r.: Robert Ruffino, Joseph Singer, and Mish Tworkowski; Peter Lyden and Kimberly Driessen Greitzer.
Ashley Laracey, Chris Mann, and Tim Mayhew.
L. to r.: Christopher Montfort, Elizabeth Montfort, Jacqueline Montfort, and Alex Montfort; Carolyne Roehm and Cece Cord.
Lacey Schwartz Delgado and Hilarie Burton Morgan.
L. to r.: Mary McDonald, Ashley Whittaker, and Alease Fisher Tallman; Natasha Blodgett and Charlie Merison.
Tara Shafer, Barbara Tober, and April Gow.
L. to r.: Oliver and Brooke Kennan; Lynne Allen, Armin Allen, and Candace Platt.
Troy Schumacher and Claire Mann.
L. to r.: Whit Stillman and Stanley Stillman; Suzanne Clary and Peter Pennoyer.
Jonathan Marder and Michele Gerber Klein.


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