Middleburg, Va., is a small town with a big heart!
This generosity was evident when Middleburg Garden Club created, organized, and in conjunction with the Middleburg Arts Council, co-sponsored “Foxes on the Fence,” a fundraiser that brought together artists, businesses, teachers, families and friends—garnering $20,000 for community projects.
Middleburg was established in 1787 and is located in northern Virginia, nestled against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the early 1900s, Middleburg became the “nation’s horse and hunt capitol,” due to the steeplechase and foxhunting activities of its visitors. Today, nearly 700 people reside in Middleburg. The town’s historic district, which features unique shops, high-end clothing boutiques, specialty stores, antiques, fine art galleries and restaurants, as well as bed-and-breakfasts, is a favorite tourist destination.
The early history and spirit of the town provided the perfect theme for “Foxes on the Fence,” our garden club fundraiser, which was initiated to showcase the talents of our local art community and promote and encourage patronage to the town.
For a $75 sponsorship, individuals, organizations and businesses could select or be assigned an artist to hand paint a fox, each one measuring four feet in length and created from a composite material designed for indoor or outdoor display. Each piece of unique art featured the name of its sponsor and artist, and was displayed on a street-side exhibit along the fences of a local church, as well as a grocery store.
Social media was a driving force in our project’s success. A “Foxes on the Fence” Facebook® page was created, where comments were shared and hundreds of followers voted and/or bid on their favorite foxes. Residents and visitors also were encouraged to bid on and win their favorite fox via an online charity site. Bidding was fierce and competitive, with 492 bids received. Proceeds benefited the Middleburg Beautification Committee, Middleburg Community Projects and Seven Loaves Food Pantry.
“Foxes on the Fence” was an overwhelming success. We received an outpouring of enthusiasm and community support and plan to sponsor the event again in 2019. We hope our garden club, which recently celebrated its 85th anniversary, can continue to make this event a tradition in our little town!
President, Middleburg Garden Club
Photos courtesy Middleburg Garden Club
Articles and photos reprinted with permission by The National Gardener, Fall 2017.