VNA Health Group Rescheduling Event to Showcase Designers & Landscape Artists

Red Bank, NJ – The fire that heavily damaged the Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House on Monday was ruled accidental by the Office of the Monmouth County Prosecutor, according to on Thursday.

Blithewald, a historic treasure from the Gilded Age located in Rumson, NJ, was to be the setting for the fifth edition of the Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House. Proceeds of the Show House tours and Preview Gala were to benefit the programs serving the communities and patients cared for by VNA Health Group.


VNA Health Group has been working closely with the homeowner, designers and landscape artists to recover from this disaster, including helping with retrieval of any salvageable items.  Many of the interior design spaces featured paintings, works of art, specialty furnishings, fabrics and fixtures that were specifically brought in for the Show House.  Those recovery efforts—graciously permitted by the homeowner—were completed on Friday.

“We are grateful to the homeowner Tom Widener, his partner Janet and his four children, who have been incredibly gracious and kind to us and the designers and landscapers, while dealing with his own extraordinary personal loss,” said Steven Landers, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer at VNA Health Group. “From the initial planning of the Designer Show House to this unfortunate turn of events, Tom and his family were perfect hosts and generous sponsors throughout the many months of Show House preparation, and we appreciate his selfless focus on the health and safety of the first responders, staff, volunteers, designers and landscapers since the fire. We are hopeful that good will come out of this tragedy for everyone involved.”

Only a few volunteers, designers and staff members were at Blithewald when the fire broke out, and no injuries were reported.

More than 40 of the tristate area’s leading interior designers, decorators and landscape artists spent countless hours during the past several months transforming the 10,000 square foot, nineteenth century home and surrounding 4 acres into a beautiful new rendition of its historic glory.

The Preview Gala that had been scheduled for April 25 is postponed to a later date and venue yet to be determined. Gala registrations will be honored at the rescheduled event. The Designer Show Hour tours are canceled and ticket holders are being issued refunds. VNA Health Group contacted gala registrants and tour ticket holders by email and phone this week.

VNA Health Group is working with the designers and landscape artists to plan an event to recognize their creativity and generosity, as well as the dedication of many volunteers. Details about this event will be announced soon.

“The designers and landscape artists labored tirelessly for months, and while we are working hard to begin plans on a future event to honor their design expertise and dedication in supporting VNA Health Group, we hope the community will step up to support them as well through the patronage of their businesses,” said Dr. Landers.