June 19, 2009—Fort Valley State University’s “Tea at Noon in June” scholarship fundraiser is the talk of the town this week. Dressed in their Sunday best, guests arrived in impressive numbers Saturday, June 13 to experience an afternoon of southern elegance and hospitality. Event host, First Lady Betty Rivers gave the crowd what they came for – a beautiful setting for socializing, an assortment of pretty edibles and show stopping entertainment. And in two hours, the crowd reciprocated by helping her exceed the goal of $10,000 for student scholarships.
“We were delighted to have such a large number of attendees,” said Alecia Livatt, chair of the tea committee.
Cheerful student greeters welcomed 180 guests, including the mayor of Fort Valley’s wife, Helen Rhea Stumbo, representatives from JW Robinson Associates of Atlanta and members of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida. Once inside the doors of the C. W. Pettigrew Farm and Life Community Center, located near “Blossoms in the Valley – the Betty H. Rivers Camellia Garden”, tea goers were ushered into the stunning reception room draped in white cloth with satin pink accents. Decorated tables displayed the commemorative camellia gift set, including a cup, calendar and DVD available for purchase. The framed namesake camelia and mural were featured as auction items.
The FVSU Philharmonic Choral, fresh from a tour of San Francisco and Los Angeles, performed two musical selections, “Remember Me” and “Oh Lord Hear My Prayer.”
During the event, a team of undercover judges sized up the parade of trendy hats worn by a myriad of fashionistas. Three winners received prizes for their colorful crowns of feathers, bows and lace.
Each guest received a pink petal-shaped fan with a program. On the flip side was a menu of petit fours, assorted quiche and other delectable treats. Covered tea bags bearing the first lady’s signature camellia logo and commemorative pens were souvenirs. “The souvenirs were just our way of saying, ‘Thanks for making it a Tea-Licious event,’” said Rivers.
The Middle Georgia community can look forward to the tea becoming an annual fundraiser. To view more photos of the event, go to www.fvsu.edu; click the photo icon on the left side of the home page.