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rhtm students at Appalachian Fundraiser

Sixteenth Annual Appalachian Spring Fundraiser

The Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management celebrated its sixteenth annual silent auction and fundraising dinner, Appalachian Spring, on April 6th, 2018. The retail and hospitality students assisted in planning, preparing and executing the large-scale production event as part of the Advance Event Planning class and as student volunteers. The “For Students – By Students” fundraiser has generated more than $80,000 in the past three years with 100% of the proceeds awarded as student scholarships to help support those who study abroad or engage in experiential learning activities. Such activities include attending the HX (Hotel Experience) and the NRF Big Show (National Retail Federation) in New York City.

mary celeste beallAppalachian Spring Fundraiser celebrates leaders and trailblazers within retail, restaurant, hospitality and tourism industries. This year we honored the inspiration of the late Sam Beall, former proprietor of Blackberry Farm and celebrated his passion towards raising the bar of hospitality and authentic high-standard of service. Guests of the evening heard beautiful and inspiring stories of Sam on how he infused positive thinking in family, work, life and play from his widow, Mary Celeste Beall, current proprietor of Blackberry Farm and several of his long-time employees and friends also considered family of Blackberry Farm.  Brian Lee, General Manager of Blackberry Farm and RHTM alumni ’92, was the gracious Emcee of the evening with six of our student leaders delivering details of the five-course exquisite gourmet menu, also inspired by Blackberry Farm with seasonal flavors and exceptional wine-pairing.

rhtm studentsEach year, the event features a silent auction with one-of-a-kind experiences, beautiful items and unique packages, delicious hors-d’oeuvres and a complimentary cocktail hour.  To donate an item for the silent auction, or to reserve your seat for Appalachian Spring 2019, please contact Jeremy E. Whaley ( or Mrs. Myra Loveday (, who are the instructors of the annual event.