At the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®, the position of Featured Speaker at the Ladies’ Horticultural Luncheon presented by Spring Arbor of Winchester has been filled, since 1999, by a staggeringly diverse array of compelling and thought-provoking Speakers. The list includes: meteorologists, fashion designers, political leaders, orchardists, sportscasters, Olympic athletes, historians, authors, jockeys and spies. Some of the Speakers have been national celebrities. Others have been “local kids” who went out into the world and “made good.” Some have hearkened back to the roots of the event and have been prominent in the agricultural and horticultural fields. For 2019, Festival President, Barry Carper, is pleased to add to this list the name of 10-time-Emmy-Award-winning General Assignment Reporter for News4 Washington, the inimitable Pat Collins!
Pat Collins’ interest in journalism began at age 15 when he started writing for newspapers. By his 17th birthday, he had a regular column in the Washington Daily News. Collins continued writing at Notre Dame where he was one of the founders of the school’s newspaper. After college, he spent two years in the Army (one in Vietnam) before returning to the Washington Daily Newsas a police reporter. He also worked for The Washington Star. Collins’ TV broadcast career began in 1973 at Channel 9 (then called WTOP and WDVM) in Washington, D. C. He left Washington in 1980 for station WLS in Chicago only to return to Washington for a 3-year stint at WJLA.
Collins joined News4 Washington in 1986; and, has covered a multitude of big stories, including the career of Marion Barry; the disappearances of Junior Burdynski and Chandra Levy; the death of Len Bias; the aftermath of September 11th, 2001; and, the 2002 sniper shootings. He traveled to The Olympics Games in Sydney, Salt Lake, Barcelona, and three other cities to file reports for NBC television stations across the country. Collins’ unique style of reporting has earned him ten Emmy Awards, two Clarion awards, and a Chesapeake Associated Press Award for “Best Feature Reporter.” In 2006, he was inducted into the Silver Circle by the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A native of Washington, Collins learned the area’s neighborhoods by riding around with his father, a physician, as he made house calls. He currently lives in Northwest Washington with his wife. They have three children.
Pat Collins joins this eclectic list of Featured Speakers: 1999 – Extension Specialist, Dr. Robert Ray Meadows; 2000 – Lady Jockey, Diane Crump; 2001 – Writers, Cindy Hazen and Mike Freeman; 2002 – Orchardist, Robert Solenberger; 2003 – Historian, Mike Foreman; 2004 – CIA Espionage Expert, Linda McCarthy; 2005 – Shenandoah University President, Tracy Fitzsimmons; 2006 – Olympic Gold Medalist, Dorothy Hamill; 2007 – Sportscaster, Ken Mease; 2008 – Orchardist, Doug Rinker; 2009 – Political Leader, Kate Obenshain; 2010 – Fashion Designer, Wendy Pepper; 2011 and 2018 – Author, Jason Wright; 2012 – Author, Jay Foreman; 2013 – Writer/Director, Lisa Mikitarian; 2014 – Meteorologist, Lauryn Ricketts; 2015 – Plane Crash Survivor, Dave Sanderson; 2016 – Author/Educator, Pam Webber; and, 2017 – Helicopter Pilot, Elizabeth McCormick.
Tickets to the 2019 Ladies’ Horticultural Luncheon presented by Spring Arbor of Winchester will be available soon. Ticket Order Forms are available now online; or, at ABHQ at 135 North Cameron Street. The Festival Souvenir Store/Ticket Outlet will be opening Friday, April 5th at a location to be announced soon. Feel free to contact Event Organizer, Linda Edwards, at 540-662-3409 for more detailed information.