Bobby Ann Nash to be hon­ored at Ch­ester­wye gala

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Obituaries - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­

CH­ESTER — Fri­day evening, April 13, is “Lucky Fri­day,” ac­cord­ing to Ch­ester­wye Foun­da­tion Chair­man Wheeler Baker. This year marks the 51st an­niver­sar y of the found­ing of Ch­ester­wye, the adult fa­cil­ity in Gra­sonville that as­sists in im­prov­ing the lives of adults with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties, and April 13 is the date of the Ch­ester­wye Foun­da­tion’s an­nual fundrais­ing gala — a din­ner and live and silent auc­tions. This year the event will be held in the com­mub­nity room at Kent Is­land Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment. Doors open at 5 p.m. Fol­low­ing din­ner, the live auc­tion, in­clud­ing the famed black wal­nut cake, will start at 7:30 p.m. Tick­ets are $100 per per­son.

Dur­ing the pro­gram, Ch­ester­wye founder Bobby Ann Nash will be hon­ored for her work in get­ting Ch­ester­wye started.

Why did she do it? The an­swer comes straight from her home. Shortly af­ter her son “Chip” was born with Down Syn­drome in 1964, Nash set out on a cru­sade. While at­tend­ing a kin­der­garten meet­ing for par­ents, she stood up and an­nounced that the county had very few pro­grams for in­di­vid­u­als with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties, noth­ing for adults, and she in­tended to do some­thing about it. She pointed her fin­ger at every­one in the meet­ing telling them she would need all of their help. There was no es­cape from what she felt was her mis­sion to help those who were af­fected. It wasn’t just about “Chip” — though he was the driv­ing force be­hind it. Chip is now 54 years old, the youngest of Nash’s four chil­dren.

Wheeler Baker said, “Be­fore Ch­ester­wye, most ru­ral ar­eas had no pro­grams to as­sist with this need. Af­flicted adults were just talked about, like ‘There’s old crazy Joe.’ Bobby Ann Nash made the dif­fer­ence. She or­ga­nized every­one she could talk to, to help raise funds, to pro­vide pro­grams. Bake sales, sell­ing shirts, cook­outs, you name it! Bobby Ann was a stal­wart through the good times and bad times. She’s a very good woman and has a very good fam­ily. Bobby Ann re­ally de­serves this recog­ni­tion!”

Baker con­tin­ued, “The late Dr. Harry Rhodes started the Ch­ester­wye Foun­da­tion in the 1980s. He did it be­cause he said, ‘We can do bet­ter!’” Rhodes, the for­mer Queen Anne’s County Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools from the early 1950s through his re­tire­ment in 1967, fol­low­ing his over­see­ing the in­te­gra­tion of pub­lic schools here, he con­tin­ued his ac­tiv­ity in the county help­ing Bobby Ann Nash or­ga­nize Ch­ester­wye for de­vel­op­men­tally dis­abled adults, to pro­vide those adults with a brighter fu­ture. The foun­da­tion serves as the fundrais­ing arm of the Ch­ester­wye Cen­ter.

This year’s ma­jor project is to be able to fur­nish the new home that is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion on State Street in Stevensville. When neigh­bors op­posed building a home­less shel­ter lo­cated there, it was de­cided in­stead that a new home for adults with dis­abil­i­ties man­aged by Ch­ester­wye would go there.

“We need funds to be able to fur­nish this new home. That’s the main goal of this year’s din­ner/auc­tion.” Baker said.

The meal for the evening will be catered by Ch­e­sa­peake Cre­ations, with the choices of ei­ther filet mignon or Ch­e­sa­peake Chicken. Lo­cal D.J. Sky Brady will pro­vide mu­sic.

To or­der tick­ets for the event, call Lois Miller at 410-827-7048, ext. 306, or email lmiller@ch­ester­wye. com. Dead­line for ad­vance tick­ets is April 6.


From left, Ch­ester­wye Foun­da­tion Chair­man Wheeler Baker, Ch­ester­wye founder Bobby Ann Nash, Queen­stown Bank Pres­i­dent and Hon­orary Ch­ester­wye 50th an­niver­sary Din­ner/Auc­tion Chair­man Tommy Rhodes and Ch­ester­wye Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor De­bra Langseth at­tend...

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