Centuries ago, Native Americans devised the ingenious Three Sisters garden, a method whereby corn, beans and squash plants are grown together in a mutually beneficial arrangement. Tall corn provides stalks for climbing beans, while squash spreads across the ground shading out the weeds. Not only do these plants grow well together, they are said to provide complete nutrition.
On August 13, these three – corn, beans, and squash –provided the basis for the Three Sisters Dinner and Auction, hosted by Friends of New Echota (FONE). "The Three Sisters are symbolic of Cherokee culture, and the success of our inaugural effort supports our intent to make this event an annual fundraiser to benefit educational programming at New Echota State Historic Site," said Donna Myers, President of Friends of New Echota (FONE).
The first annual Three Sisters Dinner and Auction was held at The Velo Vineyard in the heart of Calhoun. Doors opened at 5:00 pm for social hour, giving guests the opportunity to review auction items while savoring Three Sisters Salsa with tortilla chips. The dinner buffet, catered by David Burton of Wall Street Catering, consisted of roast pork, corn on the cob, pinto beans, green beans, squash casserole, slaw, rolls and corn bread.
The highlight of the event, beginning at 6:30, was an auction to benefit New Echota. While many of the auction items were one-of-a-kind collector's items and art objects, there was something for everyone's budget during the evening's live auction, silent auction and giveaways. More than 100 items were auctioned or given away including: original paintings, cruise and picnic on Carter's lake, baskets and pottery, area rugs, original framed photography, kayak, spa makeover, handmade lap quilt, gently used best-selling paperback books, household bric-a-brac, show tickets, annual memberships, camping and lodge passes for various state parks, and numerous gift certificates. FONE members combed the community forming partnerships along the way, while soliciting donations from local artisans, business-owners, rug designers and manufacturers, the local arts center, Georgia State Parks, Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, and FONE members themselves. FONE's Board of Directors would especially like to thank The Velo Vineyard and Wall Street Catering for co-sponsoring this event. Our success would not be possible without the generous support of all of these donors and partners.
"The staff and I are very appreciative of those who provide critical support to help maintain the New Echota Historic Site," David Gomez, Site Manager, said. "Along with a strong increase in the number of visitors and money generated, the success of FONE has produced an increase in new advocates that will return to New Echota and other State Historic Sites and provide a strong political voice for us in today's economic climate and in the future. The special events and interpretive efforts sponsored by our Friends organization have been some of the best ever at New Echota."