Thursday, February 29, 2024

York Gardens and Tearoom Celebrates Anniversary by Giving Back

Jimmy Howell sits in his tearoom. (Stephanie Sabin/WYDaily)

YORK COUNTY — To celebrate its first anniversary, York Gardens and Tearoom is hosting a Bridgerton-styled tea and fundraiser to support the Wes Strong Foundation.

The first annual Charity Afternoon Tea Ball at York Gardens and Tearoom will have two seatings — Jan. 20 and 21 — and both include a visit from “Queen Charlotte,” a special high tea menu, a silent auction and a live piano performance. Reservations are required.

The January event will support local charity the Wes Strong Foundation, with a portion of the proceeds from the event and auction being donated.

The Wes Strong Foundation was initiated to offer support to those facing pediatric cancer.

It was created in honor of Wes Pak, who at the age of 12 courageously fought for 7 and a half years against stage 4 neuroblastoma.

Wes Pak (Photo: The Wes Strong Foundation)

“Despite enduring five relapses, Wes demonstrated incredible resilience, always thinking about others. In his memory, we carry on his legacy by extending assistance to families at every stage of their own battles with pediatric cancer-fighting, surviving, and bereaved,” said Krista Pak, CEO of Wes Strong Foundation.

Pak continued, “Additionally, we honor Wes’s lifelong dream by contributing to environmental causes, embodying his passion for a better world. As Wes’s mom, I will always and forever be inspired by Wes to share his story and his mission with the world.”

York Gardens and Tearoom owner Jimmy Howell knew when he opened his business that giving back to the community was part of his plan. However, choosing an organization was a bit more difficult.

So Howell, who values his customers’ suggestions, asked them. They recommended several local charities and Howell researched them all.

“It was important that we chose a locally based organization,” Howell said, “and, honestly, this was the one that made me cry.”

“The Wes Strong Foundation truly appreciates the support from York Gardens and Tearoom in hosting a fundraiser for our mission. Their genuine involvement strengthens community bonds, allowing us to better assist local pediatric cancer families in need. We are grateful for their generosity, which reflects a shared commitment to making a positive impact in our community,” stated Pak.

Reflecting on the one-year anniversary, Howell, who originally planned to open a garden center, said the idea of combining that with his love for tea made him rethink the vision.

York Gardens and Tearoom (Stephanie Sabin/WYDaily)

“Owning a restaurant has always been on my bucket list. So, this is part of a dream come true, it’s just not the garden center I envisioned,” Howell said. “And, I think this is better for me.”

Now, the tearoom has found its niche, and the garden is thriving as the only authentic English tearoom in the Historic Triangle. Howell says many new events are planned going forward.

“The year has been amazing!” exclaimed Howell, “We have developed so many great relationships with the many guests who have visited. We opened with a concept and developed it into what is being enjoyed by the guests today. With our lifestyle YouTube channel beginning in January, which features York Gardens & Tearoom and Yorktown as the backdrop, I’m excited about the possibilities. Our full team is working hard to make York Gardens & Tearoom the unique dining experience it is in Yorktown, Virginia.”

Follow York Gardens and Tearoom online or through its Facebook page.

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