“Keeping Pace” is the Vinings Historic Preservation Society’s capital campaign, with an overall goal of $250,000 raised by 2014.
Its kickoff starts Saturday at the Welcome Aboard gala, which will allow for 50 to 75 guests to dine and dance at the train-themed, black-tie party.
The gala, co-chaired by Karen DeRuyter and Cheryl Spiva, will be at the Pace House and the Old Pavilion, which are two of three structures the society focuses on, along with the Yarborough House, also known as Vinings Center.
“The pavilion is going to be set up like a dining car,” said DeRuyter. “We’ll have a red carpet, we’ll tent the deck and the driveway, and there will be valet.”
The Pace House is on the National Registry of Historic Houses, and all three are on the Cobb County Register and were built in the 1870s following the Civil War.
Although DeRuyter said the campaign fundraising goal is attainable, there are some naysayers.
“Some local residents said we were absolutely crazy because people wouldn’t support it. They said we couldn’t raise that kind of money, which made us even more determined,” she said. “The feedback has been phenomenal. There are a lot of people that are contributing that can’t make it to the gala.”
There will be hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, a seated four-course dinner catered by Avenue Catering Concepts of the Saratoga Event Group and wines poured from Monteluce Vineyards and Estates, which donated them.
The society hopes to raise $50,000 with the gala alone, DeRuyter said.
“We’ve done a lot of work to outline projects that we have to do and it will take about that much money,” she said.
The projects include repainting the Pace House and the Old Pavilion, foundational work on the Pace House, additional lighting and landscaping.
Throughout the campaign, the society will host several family friendly events at all price levels, including educational talks and an archaeological dig.
To keep the community aware of their progress, a wooden cutout of a train will sit on the fence of the Vinings Center, 3010 Paces Mill Road, and each time they raise more money, the train will move down the fence.
“From my perspective, the community is quaint and I think the historic properties keep the community. We all give a bit of our heart to it,” Spiva said. “It’s a cornerstone. I don’t want to see this legacy leave us. It means you have to work to maintain it and make sure it’s here after we’re gone.”
If you go
o What: Welcome Aboard Gala
o When: Saturday at 7 p.m.
o Where: Pace House and Old Pavilion, 3057 Paces Mill Road, Vinings
o Benefits: Vinings Historic Preservation Society
o Tickets: $1,000 per couple
o Information: (770) 432-3343 or www.vinings.org.