First couple to headline American Village fundraiser

Published 2:26 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Organizers of the second annual Liberty Legacy Awards, a fundraiser for Montevallo’s American Village, have announced the ceremony will include a visit from a famous first couple.

John and Abigail Adams, portrayed by historical interpreters William Stewart and Noel Stewart, will perform excerpts from a new public program in development during the ceremony Feb. 28 at The Club, 1 Robert S. Smith Drive, in Birmingham. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

Organizers sought to add American Village’s distinct blend of education and entertainment to this year’s ceremony, said Tom Walker, American Village executive director. Inspired by a popular television miniseries, the Adams program highlights the couple’s personal life during the American Revolution.

The first couple’s visit is a welcome twist to this year’s ceremony, organizers said. Like many nonprofits in today’s economy, American Village is brainstorming ways to make fundraising events more appealing.

“The story of President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams has received a lot of attention recently due to the HBO epic miniseries ‘John Adams,’ so we thought it was a perfect time to add this piece to our overall program offerings,” Walker said.

American Village has consistently added new programs to continue its mission of strengthening and renewing the foundations of American liberty and self-government through citizenship education, Walker said.

Walker added this year’s award recipients have greatly contributed to the preservation of American history.

Gov. Bob Riley and First Lady Patsy Riley will each receive the 2009 Cornerstone of Liberty Award for their support of teaching American history and civics, while former Mississippi Gov. William Winter will receive the 2009 Liberty Legacy Award for his public service as a statesman, historian and civic leader, Walker said.

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union received the first-ever Liberty Legacy Award last year.

Walker said individual tickets for the ceremony are available for $100. Sponsored tables are available for $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000. To make reservations, call toll free (811) 877-1776 ext. 28.