February 17, 2017
Charles Banks III, retired businessman, gifted a bronze sculpture titled, The Great Blue Heron Pair to the Virginia Living Museum (VLM) in honor of his wife Mari Ann Banks during a reception February 17. The Banks are members of the VLM Board of Advisors and have been generous donors, longtime supporters, and loyal friends for decades.
The bronze sculpture is one of several by artist David H. Turner that grace the grounds of the VLM including the neighboring Black Bear Family sculpture.
Family and friends joined the Banks at the museum’s outdoor waterfall where The Great Blue Heron Pair sculpture emerges from a peaceful pool of water. A champagne toast was followed by a reception in the Wild Side Café in celebration of Mari Ann’s birthday.
Charles and Mari Ann have been generous supporters of the Virginia Living Museum. In 2004 and 2010 the couple hosted the VLM’s outdoor barbecue-themed Boot Scootin’ Fundraiser at their plantation home in Gloucester. Charlie was a participant in the VLM’s Sporting Clay Classic fundraiser and the couple received the 2008 Gold Paw Award, the museum’s highest honor acknowledging outstanding donors. Most recently, during the museum’s 50th Anniversary Campaign, their larger-than-life donation named two 15 foot tall Brachiosaurus Dinosaurs in the museum’s newest permanent exhibit, the Dinosaur Discovery Trail.
Rebecca Kleinhample, VLM Executive Director, expressed her gratitude for the Banks’ never-ending support of the museum. She also stated that the pair have truly been part of the VLM family. Along with help from the community and donors like Mari Ann and Charlie, the museum continues to be beloved and sustained throughout the years.