Rotary Club Makes Historical Investment

Clarke County’s local history will now be easy to see thanks to a generous gift from the Clarke County Rotary Club. On Wednesday the Rotarians presented the Clarke County Historical Association with a $7000 gift that will allow the downtown Berryville facility to improve the use of its display space.

Clarke County Rotary President Yousaf Sheikh presents Clarke County Historical Association Director Jennifer Lee with check to fund museum display improvements - Photo Edward Leonard

During presentation of the gift at the club’s monthly luncheon gathering, Historical Association Director Jennifer Lee thanked Rotary Club president Yousaf Sheikh for his organization’s continued support of Clarke County’s history and community.

“Our museum has many fixed exhibits which we are very proud of but we don’t have enough space to permanently display everything that we have in storage” Lee told the 40 Rotary Club members who were gathered in Grace Episcopal’s social hall for the noon-time event. “With this gift from the Rotary Club we will be able to  build flexible display space that will allow us to add two to three displays a year.”

Also present was CCHA board members Howard Means who invited the group to visit the museums’s 32 East Main Street location to see their financial gift in action.

“We plan for our first exhibit to be about service clubs in Clarke County” Means told the audience. “If you haven’t been to the museum, please plan to come by for a visit. I think that you’ll like what you see.”

Rotary president Yousaf Sheikh said that the CCHA fund raising effort was only one of several projects that the Rotary Club is funding this year.

“We are also supporting Clarke County High School through student scholarships, we are donating to the CCHS Band Association and also have contributed $25K to the Barns of Rose Hill” said Sheikh. “We raise money through various fundraisers. This year we organized several fundraisers including a theatre night, casino night and selling gourmet bread and cheese.”

Each month Rotary Club taps one of its members to speak to the group about the selected member’s life. At Wednesday’s meeting Barns of Rose Hill acting executive director Susi Bailey shared details about her family, life and career with her fellow club members.

Bailey described a life-long family connection and love for Clarke County.

“I am a Clarke County native” Bailey to the audience. “My sister still lives here in the County in the same house that my father was born in.”

Bailey described many accomplishments over the years that includes the birth of twin daughters, one of whom has followed the family’s heritage by still residing in Clarke County.

Bailey described a dedication to community service that has significantly contributed to both the county as well as downtown Berryville. In addition to her current endeavor, oversight and support for the Barns of Rose Hill, Bailey was a founding member of Berryville Main Street in 1988. In addition to successfully opening and operating the Berry Patch Gift Shop from 1980 to 1991, Bailey has served on the boards of  many Clarke County associations including the Clarke County Historical Association, Long Branch and Powhatan School.

Bailey returned to Clarke County after a brief absence while earning her bachelor degree in American history from American University in Washington DC.

Bailey said that she has had a life-long love for travel and listed one of her more interesting travel experiences as a pony trek across Iceland. She is also an avid snorkeler and plans a return trip to Belize this summer where she plans to dive with whale sharks.

“That should be an interesting experience” Bailey said with a smile.