CDA 125th Anniversary Annual Meeting held in NYC


The 125th Annual Meeting of The Colonial Dames of America was held in New York May 2-4, 2015.

The weekend program of events began May 2 with the Executive Council Meeting at the Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium. Chapter presidents, delegates, members and Board of Managers members met to discuss the activities of the chapters and the business of the Society.

That evening, the 125th celebration continued with the elegant President’s Award for Excellence dinner at a private club in Manhattan. The Society’s history was reviewed with the presentation of a video “The Colonial Dames of America, 125 Years,” produced by Sharri Whiting De Masi and web developer,  Dana De Loca.

Pictured at right: Sharon W. Vaino, President General

Prior to the dinner a Proprietor’s Cocktail reception was held, where Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden director, Terri Daly, showed a video about the museum.

The dinner culminated with the presentation by President General Sharon Vaino of the 2015 President’s Award for Excellence. Chapter XXIV-Atlanta won for its proposal to hire a professional to evaluate a priceless collection of small, hand-whittled toys called the “Moses Robinson Collection of Folk Art” at the Sandy Springs Heritage Museum. The resulting information will be used for conservation, preservation and restoration of the collection. Accepting the award was chapter president Helen Rogge.


Susan Trau Johnson, San Francisco, and Mary Lowe Mayhugh, Washington, DC, at the Garden Party

On Sunday, May 3, a tour of Rockefeller Center was enjoyed by a group, who viewed the art deco murals by the late Hildreth Meiere, a member of CDA and the subject of an award winning book. The afternoon included a cocktail and shopping event at jeweler Erwin Pearl, courtesy of BOM member Sandra Pearl, to benefit the CDA General Fund.

The annual Garden Party was held in the garden of the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden on Sunday afternoon. The event was especially festive, with the garden in full bloom and guests dressed for spring in New York. The newly reprinted book, Pages in Azure and Gold, was sold to benefit the President General’s 125th Anniversary Project during the Garden Party and Annual Luncheon. Note cards designed with photographs depicting aspects of the MVHGM were sold to benefit the museum at both events.

The 125th Annual Luncheon and Meeting was held at a private club in Manhattan. Prior to the lunch, round table discussions were led by Beverley Sherrid, Brantley Knowles, Carol Lynch, Caroline McLain, Evelyn Aucoin and Sharri Whiting De Masi.

Past President General Audrey Svensson presented the Annual Book Award to Heath Hardage Lee for her book, Winnie Davis: Daughter of the Lost Cause; a Citation to authors Catherine Coleman Brawer and Kathleen Murphy Skolnik and photographer Hildreth Meiere Dunn for The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meiere; and the Young Readers Citation to author Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrator James E. Ransome for Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History.bookawardcommittee

The inaugural Van Rensselaer Awards were presented to Robin Townes, Chapter XXXIII-Georgia Piedmont; Theresa Johnson, Chapter XXXI-South Carolina; Rose Elyea Bell, Chapter XXIV- Atlanta; Charlotte Miller, Chapter XXIII- Virginia; Beth Leney, Chapter VIII-Houston, and Sharon Vaino, Parent Chapter;

The election of officers and the Class of 2018 Board of Managers was held during the business meeting. Sharon Worthing Vaino was re-elected President General. M.P. Naud (PC), Charlotte Christian (Chapter XXIV-Atlanta), and Linda Waterhouse Chapter XI-London) will serve on the Board of Managers, Class of 2018.

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