All together now

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Nov 28, 2018 - 10:10 AM

Photo: The food committee presents an example of what is to come for the coming Christmas open house. From left are Jane Worthington, Jane Smith, Sue Hewitt, Barbara McDermott and Ginger Rowe. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

The food committee presents an example of what is to come for the coming Christmas open house. From left are Jane Worthington, Jane Smith, Sue Hewitt, Barbara McDermott and Ginger Rowe. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

 For 28 years, members of the Ware River Circle of The King’s Daughters and Sons have brought to the public a beautiful Christmas Open House, allowing people to tour some of the many beautiful estates.

For their 29th production they are being assisted by the Chesapeake, North River and York River circles, all working for the same project—the construction of a new mental health wing at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk.

This year through the gracious hospitality of Charles and Mari Ann Banks, their home White Hall will open its doors and the party barn on Tuesday, Dec. 11, to as many as 1,000 people. There will be five sessions with 200 maximum at each gathering. When purchasing a ticket for the first four sessions ($30), denote which one-hour period you would like to attend. The five sessions begin at noon and end with something new, an evening session from six to seven. This nocturnal tour where music has been added is $35 per ticket. Once guests have toured White Hall with its beautiful interior and exterior and enjoyed the Christmas decorations provided by members of the four chapters, foods and beverage will be served in the barn.

The food committee has been working for weeks making sure there will be plenty. The menu includes all of those past favorites that you’ve enjoyed and looked forward to each year, with the addition of several new delicacies. Champagne punch will be bubbling but plain is there if needed.

The work sheet for all kitchens (there will be many) list exactly the quantity needed to provide the menu for a 1,000 people. It reads 10 blackened salmons and crackers provided by Charlie and Mary Alice Woerner (a project they volunteer to do annually); 3,000 ham biscuits, Ware, North and York circles; 1,500 cucumber sandwiches, North Circle; 10 cheese logs, Chesapeake Circle; 5 3-packs Boursin cheese, Jane Smith; 15 pounds green grapes, North Circle; 15 pounds Red Grapes, Ware Circle; 4,000 Christmas cookies: York Circle; 500 Chesapeake Circle, 500 North Circle and 2,000 Ware Circle; 3 large jars mixed nuts, Jane Smith. Enough champagne to give the punch bowls a sparkle.

Brie cheese topped with raspberry jam and deviled eggs will be added to the evening session and with music, candlelight and champagne in hand, this event will bring down the curtain. The months of effort and work put forth by these four chapters just to make the day or evening at White Hall a perfect visit has ended. Their hope for the addition to The King’s Daughters’ Hospital is closer and plans will soon begin for 2019’s Christmas tour.