Wine and Jazz Fest helps raise money to buy Havre de Grace Colored School

The Aegis

An estimated crowd of nearly 500 people attended the Community Projects of Havre de Grace Inc. and the Colored School Foundation's inaugural Wine and Jazz Fest fundraiser last Saturday at Swan Harbor Farm in Havre de Grace.

The Colored School Foundation held the event to help raise money to purchase the former Havre de Grace Colored School that is pending sale.

The event attracted attendees from all over the East Coast, according to organizers.

"The view of the Chesapeake Bay is breathtaking," Cheryl Oliver, who traveled from Washington, D.C., said.

"We wanted to have an event that would provide a fun and unique experience for local residents. Little did we know that it would attract people from as far north as Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey and as far south as North Carolina. We are extremely happy that we were able to showcase what Harford County has to offer," Patricia Cole, the Havre de Grace Colored School Foundation committee chair, said.

The festival featured several local food vendors and more than 25 art and craft vendors and each attendee received a commemorative wine glass featuring the event logo.

The Phill Butts Sunset Band, featuring vocalists Larzine Thomas and Reggie Thomas, set the festivities off with a playlist of every jazz genre.

Topping off the evening was the Chandra and Ryze Band, which played an array of musical selections from Billie Holiday to Sarah Vaughn and Mary J. Blige. Her soulful sound had attendees out of their seats and dancing to her unique style and energy.

"A wonderful day and awesome turnout for the first, hopfully annual, Wine and Jazz Fest," Donna Lewis, of Bel Air, said.

Plans are being made for next year's festival and the Colored School Foundation's next fundraiser is its annual prayer breakfast scheduled for Jan. 27.

For more information on upcoming events or to make a donation to the Colored School Foundation, visit

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