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Scarborough Society Gala Pays Homage to L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

The 15th annual Scarborough Society Gala was held August 12 at the Bavarian Inn to support Shepherd University’s Scarborough Library, with nearly 300 invited guests attending the black-tie event. This year’s gala was inspired by L. Frank Baum’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Presenting sponsors for the event were BB&T Wealth Management, represented by Marty and Marlyn Keesecker; Jefferson Security Bank, represented by Cindy and Steve Kitner; Valley Proteins, Inc., represented by Rebecca Wagner-Snellings; and United Bank, Inc., represented by Christopher and Samantha Colbert. Jerry Williams of State Farm Insurance sponsored the band, Souled Out. Other community sponsors included John Wolff of Capital Fiduciary Advisors, Stephen Skinner of Skinner Law Firm, Brian Jackson of McMorgan and Company, Bowles Rice LLP, PriceRomine PLLC, Smith Elliott Kearns and Company, LLC, and Ours, Lawyer, and Lewis and Company.

“Jefferson Security Bank is honored to have the opportunity to work closely with Shepherd University, as we share a passion for enhancing our community,” said Cindy Kitner, president and CEO of Jefferson Security Bank. “The Scarborough Gala is a wonderful event and we are proud to continue supporting the efforts to strengthen the library system, which benefits not only Shepherd students and faculty, but the surrounding communities as well.”

Band sponsor Jerry Williams of State Farm Insurance also acknowledged the importance of the Scarborough Library in the campus community.

“The library is the focal point of the campus,” he said, noting that students utilize it for nearly every aspect of their collegiate lives including research, studying, group projects, staying up to date on current events, reading for pleasure, and fraternizing with friends. “My wife Nelda and I feel this facility is an important part of the educational experience at Shepherd and we are happy to support it as part of the university’s educational mission.”

Ramon A. Alvarez, president of the Scarborough Society, commended all those involved in bringing the Scarborough Society Gala to life in his remarks to the guests Friday evening.

“The success of this annual event is due to the very generous monetary support of our outstanding corporate citizens and several groups of volunteers who continue to delight us with their creativity and high energy.”

Scarborough Society President Ray Alvarez ’62 poses with Scarborough Society Gala Chair Sara Lueck `67 beside a life-size cutout of Glinda the Good Witch of the North. As emcee for the evening, Ray played the part of the Great and Powerful Oz, while Sarah channeled the ill-fated Wicked Witch of the East.

Upon arriving at the Bavarian Inn, guests were greeted by a life-size cutout of Glinda the Good Witch, much like Dorothy when she first arrived in the Land of Oz. Guests were then invited to have their photos taken in front a four-panel backdrop depicting the Yellow Brick Road with the Emerald City in the distance, while life-size cutouts of Dorothy and her friends, the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion, stood nearby. Shepherd alumnus Tom Neal lent his talent and passion to the painting of the backdrop, while Kevin Wilson of Magnolia Tree created the centerpiece designs that evoked the Emerald City. Jeremiah Leiter and Mike Sokel of Live Sound Co. managed the indoor sound system and Potomac Farms Nursery provided additional greenery for the event.

Among the guests supporting the Scarborough Library were table hosts from the regional community and their invited friends. The group was composed of university faculty, administrators, alumni, and community members.

The Scarborough Society, sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, serves to support and strengthen the Shepherd University library system. Funds raised by the society provide information technology and other resources to Shepherd students, faculty, and friends. Memberships in the organization are available on an annual basis and members’ names are engraved on a wall of honor located in the new addition to the Scarborough Library. Members receive library cards with privileges and are placed on invitation lists for library lectures, book signings, musical events, seminars, and receptions. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Scarborough Society is invited to call the Shepherd University Foundation at 304-876-5397 or 800-344-5231, extension 5021 for more information.

Pictured above (from l.): Presenting sponsors Chris Colbert `95 of United Bank, Inc. with wife Samantha, Cindy Kitner `97 of Jefferson Security Bank with husband Steve, Marty Keesecker of BB&T with wife Marlyn, and Scarborough Society president Ray Alvarez with wife Mary.