As I prepare for our 3rd Annual Beeping Egg Hunt on April 12, I pause to remember the strong ties that Gari, and especially Corinne Melchers, had with children’s Easter parties during their time here at Belmont.
Several years ago, The Free Lance-Star reporter Jennifer Strobel wrote a magnificent piece on the Melchers and their annual gathering. Puppet shows, egg hunts, favors galore, and refreshments were all on the Easter day agenda for the nearly 50 local boys and girls invited.
Chester B. Goolrick remembers the event:
I think all of us looked forward to it almost as much as we did Christmas. The eggs and toys they hid about the grounds and in the box bushes were quite extravagant —boat models and dolls and imported spun sugar eggs with inside scenes which would cost a small fortune today—and the Melcherses always put on a Punch and Judy show in the main hall, using a stage she had picked up abroad somewhere, and we would be served cake and ice cream shaped liked Easter bunnies or lilies. I remember as a freshman in college writing to Mrs. Melchers the year after he (Gari) died to tell her how much I would miss her party. I still do.
As a museum educator, I am grateful to help orchestrate a meaningful event that not only resonates with our site’s history, but also makes our collections accessible to a an under-served museum population.
A big thank you to the many volunteers and sponsors who lent their support to this event:
Fredericksburg Host Lion’s Club, Walker-Grant Middle School National Junior Honor Society members, Wegman’s, Chancellor Lions Club, and UVA’s Delta Gamma Sorority.
~ Michelle Crow-Dolby, Education and Communications Manager, Gari Melchers Home & Studio