Elmhurst, The House of Friendship assisted living residence in Wheeling will host its third annual Shrimp Boil on the Lawn fundraiser on Saturday, July 27.
The authentic Louisiana-style shrimp boil menu prepared by Chef Mike Travis will tantalize diners with its zesty, flavorful broth simmering with shrimp, potatoes, corn, sausage and crawfish. Coleslaw, assorted breads and cornbread will accompany the one-pot meal. A specialty dessert ice cream from Kirke’s Homemade Ice Cream will offer a cool, sweet finale for the tastebuds. An open bar will be available and will feature a specialty drink, the Mason-Dixon, a combination of sweet iced tea, lemonade and vodka.
The music of Brother Randall and Friends bluegrass band will set the mood for a trip to the bayou under a warm July sky. Residents of Elmhurst will take center stage on the wide, wrap-around porch where they can view the festivities and dine on tables set up for the evening.
The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with drinks. Dinner is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person. Advance registration can be made by calling Elmhurst at 304-242-0240, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets also will be available at the door that night.
A BIT OF HISTORY
From its very inception, the community-at-large has supported the mission of Elmhurst, The House of Friendship as a place to call “home” for older adults. Founded shortly before the turn of the 20th century, Elmhurst’s mission was to serve the housing needs of unfortunate older women with no family ties. Originally, the non-profit was known as the West Virginia Home for Aged Women. It provided a safe, caring environment and a place to call “home” for indigent women.
The organization’s first home was on Twelfth Street, but it soon moved to a larger home at Thirteenth and Byron streets. After nearly 50 years, the house in East Wheeling became costly to maintain. Once again, members of the community stepped in to help. In 1940, the children of the late Mail Pouch Tobacco founder Samuel S. Bloch and his wife, Bertha, donated the family’s estate, “Elmhurst,” to the organization to allow its mission of serving older adult women to continue. Two additions have been added to the property located across from St. Michael Church in Wheeling’s Pleasant Valley neighborhood. The organization’s name was changed to Elmhurst, The House of Friendship.
FROM TEA PARTIES TO SHRIMP BOILS
Annually in the late spring, the organization opened its doors to the public at a formal tea as a fundraiser.
The annual teas were festive events, according to old newspaper accounts. Local musicians performed, and vocalists sang for those attending. It was a social event spearheaded by women who were from prominent families and churches. The local newspapers covered each “Donation Day,” as the events became known. The open house teas continued through the 1980s as a means of fundraising for the non-profit that now offers assisted living for men, women and couples with a variety of options that include all amenities and care for one monthly fee.
“Although a shrimp boil is a far cry from a genteel tea party, Elmhurst continues to rely upon the support of donors to help us maintain this historic site as we serve our older population,” says long-time executive director Jamie Crow. “Our mission has remained steadfast — to serve the housing needs of our older adult population with an affordable alternative to living at home. Our residents and their families take comfort in knowing that Elmhurst is the next best thing to home — from the quality of our care, to the engaging, active culture that promotes living life to the fullest no matter the number of candles on the birthday cake.”
Sponsors for the event include: Glessner & Associates, PLLC, entertainment sponsor; Felton CPA; The Elizabeth Stifel-Kline Foundation; WesBanco; Dr. and Mrs. William Przybysz; Blue Sky Therapy (WSB Rehabilitation); Hazlett, Burt & Watson; Jay Frey and Michael Hires; Johnson Pharmaceutical Co.; The Monteverde Group, LLC; State Farm, Noah Mull, agent; Altmeyer Funeral Homes; Dr. Frank and Anita Carenbauer; Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP; Dr. Virginia Dulany; Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal; H.E. Neumann Co.; Scott and Joanne Winters; Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.; and Visiting Angels.