Gay Hart Gaines of Florida has been elected the 18th Regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, owners of Mount Vernon Estate and Mansion for the past 150 years. She succeeds Mrs. James "Ellen" Walton of Pittsburgh, Pa.
Formerly the association's Vice Regent for Florida, Gaines will be responsible "for leading Mount Vernon at a critical time in its history as the Estate continues to cope with post-Sept. 11 effects and embarks on the construction" of its new visitor orientation/education/museum center, according to an announcement of her election.
"I am honored to serve as Regent for an organization of vibrant women which has such a storied history," Gaines said. "The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association has protected Mount Vernon and George Washington's legacy for over 150 years, and I look forward to continuing the tradition of bringing the ideals of this great man to new generations."
First elected to the Association in 2000, Gaines has been active in raising funds for the $85 million capital campaign to finance the new additions. She is also a member of the committee that is overseeing construction of both the Ford Orientation Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center.
As a means of bringing the legacy and history of Washington back into school curricula, Gaines raised funds to distribute the George Washington Biography Lesson to every fourth grade student throughout her state's public schools in 2003/2004. She also cultivated resources to provide for 12 Florida teachers to attend the Mount Vernon Teachers Institute in perpetuity, according to Mount Vernon officials.
A graduate of Sweet Briar College, Gaines is active in a wide range of charitable, civic, art, and political organizations. She has served as on the boards of the Hudson Institute, the Best Friend Foundation, and Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Gaines is married to Stanley Noyes Gaines. They have four children and eight grandchildren.