On October 27th in New York, The Royal Oak Foundation threw its annual fundraising gala at the Metropolitan Club on Fifth Avenue. In addition to support for its myriad of programs, lectures and conservation work, the black tie dinner for 250 guests raised over $330,000, a record for the Royal Oak Foundation. Charlotte was presented with The Timeless Design Award for her work in design, historical preservation, and philanthropy. Excerpts from Charlotte's acceptance remarks are below.
For more information on Lectures, Tours & Travel with The Royal Oak Foundation, please visit www.Royal-Oak.org.
I think the challenge before all of us here today, members of The Royal Oak Foundation and anyone interested in history and preservation…
The challenge is to find new ways to
MAKE HISTORY A PART OF EVERYONE’S FUTURE!
So many people get history wrong –
They think it is about the past.
History is what informs us.
There is no future without it.
Reinforced by reading biography, one rich life lead to another, and as I got older other aspects of those properties interested me.
The gardens, the interior decoration. The lifestyles of the people, and the beautiful objet and art that they collected.
Having exposure to beauty in so many forms -
To learn to appreciate and respect it is something you then carry with you the rest of your life.
This is where my interest in design began.
But, not everyone has the advantage of geography that I had.
How do we make history dynamic and relevant today?
How do we engage young people when they are Facebooking and Tweeting and have so many more distractions than we ever had.
How do we get them interested to visit these beautiful places?
How do we help them to create a future that has a rich past?
What we learn from all of these experiences finds its way into our life and gets translated consciously or unconsciously.
There is no substitute for being there.
We are blessed with an abundance of beautiful houses and properties that we must find clever ways to preserve.
And clever ways to engage and attract people through the doors....
And sure...we must raise money to do all of that,
But there is another legacy WE CAN ALL LEAVE....
One of INSPIRATION.
Inspiring others to live with open eyes -
And INFECTIOUS ENTHUSIASM............the kind that comes with every new discovery, and fosters curiosity.
My dad always said to me as a child: “Observing doesn't cost a dime.”
Now I can add: ENTHUSIASM doesn't either....