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The nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest was formed in December 1983 by a group of individuals to lead the rescue of Jefferson’s endangered retreat for the cultural and educational benefit of the public—now and for future generations. In January 1984, the Corporation succeeded in taking title to a 50-acre parcel of land which was all that remained with the original buildings at the heart of Jefferson’s original plantation. Thanks to the support of hundreds of individuals and many foundation and corporate partners, Poplar Forest is poised to enter a new phase of its growth, with the interior restoration nearly complete, a brand-new access road and trail system, restored ornamental plantings, and an exciting array of new projects on the horizon.
Join us for an evening of cocktails and dinner to toast four decades of rescue,restoration and new discoveries at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest and celebrate the work of Poplar Forest’s Director of Architectural Restoration, Travis McDonald, who will retire in June after 34 years, leading the restoration from start to finish.
The evening begins with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. General admission attendees will enjoy cocktails in the dinner tent on the South Lawn. VIP ticket holders are invited to a private cocktail hour in Jefferson’s villa retreat with Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by interpreter Bill Barker, and Martha Wayles Jefferson, his wife, portrayed by interpreter Nicole Brown.
Dinner will be catered by Purple Door Catering at 7 p.m. In addition to Thomas Jefferson, special guests for the evening include, J. Jefferson Looney, Daniel P. Jordan Editor of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, who will talk about Jefferson in retirement, including stories focused specifically on Jefferson’s time at Poplar Forest. An auction, live music by the Steve Freeman Band, dancing, and remarks honoring the Corporation’s history and Travis McDonald’s incredible contributions through his life’s work at Poplar Forest will round out the evening’s festivities.
Tickets to the 40th Anniversary Gala are $150/person for general admission and $250/person for VIP admission. VIP admission includes cocktail hour in the historic house. Reservations are required and must be made by April 14th due to catering considerations. Dress for the evening is black tie optional.