Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor to Speak at April 24 “Tea On The Lawn” for New Danville

Attention southern gals! Mark your spring calendars for Friday, April 24, for the 7th annual Tea on the Lawn from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM to benefit New Danville.

New Danville is a self-sustaining, master-planned community where adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can live, learn, work, and grow emotionally, socially, and spiritually with their non-disabled peers.

This year’s event will feature guest speaker Heather Abbott, a young woman who was standing at the 2013 Boston Marathon finish line when terrorist bombs went off. Heather had to face an unimaginable decision to amputate. She is a living testament to “Boston Strong” and her story is nothing short of courage, determination, and inspiration.

This lovely spring luncheon was created in 2008 by women for women to raise awareness and vital funds for New Danville’s Life Enrichment and JOBS programs.

New Danville helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as others who want to develop the skills to become as independent as possible but may need some assistance such as with things such as transportation, money management, and other skills training. This year marks New Danville’s tenth anniversary serving adults with disabilities.

Stephanie Milstead, New Danville Board Chairman, with 2013 guest speaker, Joanne Herring.

Tea on the Lawn will return at the stately Shepard Hill Estates at 11134 Shepard Hill Rd., in Willis, TX, a 42-acre venue that features a majestic turn-of-the-century-style farmhouse with a big wrap-around porch, a showcase for its treasured antiques and lush flower gardens. Shepard Hill Estates is across the road from New Danville, located at 10951 Shepard Hill in Willis.

As tradition has it, guests will don their finest hats and frocks. Prior to the sit-down luncheon at noon, genteel ladies will enjoy strolling leisurely through the beautiful venue, sipping light libations or pink lemonade, and listening to live classical piano pieces while browsing through the Marketplace of New Danville clients’ unique hand-crafted products.

Marketplace ‘must sees’ include original works of art, potted flowers, distinctive writing pens, stately birdhouses, whimsical wind chimes, inspirational mosaic crosses, luscious bath & body products, and fine food products.

This year marks the first inaugural honoree recognizing Patti Rivela as the Tea on the Lawn creator and chair for its first three years. As a wife, mother, artist – and a creative and enthusiastic philanthropist of her time, talents, and volunteerism – Rivela will be the first to receive this prestigious annual honor by New Danville.

This year’s event is expected to surpass the 2014 Tea on the Lawn which attracted 350 guests and raised more than $225,000.

“We hope the community will continue to grow this great event by becoming an underwriter or sponsor or simply by renewing last year’s commitment,” said Kathy Sanders, president and founder of New Danville. “Such support is an investment in changing the lives of adults with disabilities, and because of generous supporters, those lives are certainly being enriched. We are very proud to announce that Richie’s Specialty Pharmacy again is the Event Underwriter. Richie and CeCe Ray generously support New Danville’s mission, and we are ever so grateful for their continued sponsorship of this event.”

New Danville is the only community concept of its kind that offers an affordable, holistic approach to services by offering adult educational, skills training and vocational services, low-income housing, and job opportunities. It is a special place where they can live, learn, work and grow emotionally, socially and spiritually in a safe, caring environment.

The Tea on the Lawn host committee has expanded the underwriting and sponsorship opportunities available for this year’s event. Available now, sponsorships start at $150 for a program ad and up to $7,500 for the ladies tee sponsorship. Table underwriting levels range from $3,000 to $15,000.

For more information about Tea on the Lawn, contact Kathy Sanders at, or call (936) 522-8244, or visit the event web site at Tea On The Lawn. For more information about New Danville, visit or call (936)344-6200 or email

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