Battlefield preservation has always been in the forefront of our activities as a Society, since it helps to promote interest in the American Civil War. Whether it was planting a tree at Antietam, buying a brick at Edinburg or helping to preserve a Pennsylvanian battle flag, we have always entered into fund raising with some gusto and support from our members. In recent years we have been quiet, focusing quite rightly on getting our own finances in order and getting membership up. Past Presidents have not been able to spend time to reflect on the idea of Preservation. Until now.
Thanks as ever to some diligent work by the Committee we have a framework that we can use to quick start our preservation work again. The process is laid out in Article 10 of the Constitution: "Financial donations may be made to groups or individuals to preserve or conserve sites or artefacts relevant to the conflict, its origins , or consequences. Applications must be made in writing to the Secretary explaining how donations will be used . This application will be printed in full as soon as possible in the magazine of the ACWRT(UK . A decision will be taken by the Committee after sufficient time ( 21 days or more) has elapsed to allow for objections to be made in writing to the Secretary . Such objections will be published in the magazine in a manner deemed appropriate by the Editor following a non-binding consultation with the President or the Secretary....... The Committee will then reconsider the matter and make a final decision.....". Having decided upon a recipient, the Society will then support the fundraising through the usual sources, raffles, book sales, auction of donated items etc until the required funding level is met. Once that task is complete, we will move onto the next one and so on. In the past we have raised the idea of a limit or target of $500 and it seems sensible to continue with this as a policy. All funds will come via new promotions and the Round Table will not make any contribution from general funds. So your task is quite simple, just recommend a needy cause. In writing to the Secretary. By the rules in Article 10, we need to have the first proposals published in the Crossfire so let's make 2010 the year that the Round Table re-establishes itself in preservation work. We also realise that there will be times when we get a request to sell something to raise funds for a specific cause. For example, we have been given a number of books on the agreement that the proceeds are split between the Round Table and "Help for Heroes". In these instances we will take the items to the next appropriate meeting but also advertise them in the meeting notice so that all members are able to purchase an item if they want to. Project Number 1 The first project under our new Preservation scheme has been proposed - The Raymond Battlefield Appeal. The Blue and Grey Education Society (BGES) has agreed to do a special appeal to help fund the purchase of 67 acres in the dead centre of the core area of the battlefield. The numbers are significant - the original asking price of $900,000 was reduced to $435,000. Of that, the NPS have agreed to pay $220,000, the Civil War Preservation Trust will pay $100,000 and the Friends of Raymond will pay the balance of $115,000. The problem for Raymond is that it is a small town of only 2,000 people. This is where we step in to help them with our pledge of $500. The ACWRTUK already has firm links in the area. It is part of the itinerary for a Vicksburg visit and Parker Hills manages the Raymond Battlefield Park and has written for Crossfire. Hills has opened a walking trail and successfully undertaken a campaign to place reproduction artillery pieces at various sites in the battlefield. In accordance with the Constitution rules, members are informed of the Committees intention to support this appeal. Any member wishing to object to this particular appeal needs to do so in writing to the Secretary within 21 days of receiving this issue of Crossfire, or by 30th September 2009 whichever is earlier. Fundraising for this appeal will start from the next meeting after the objection closing date.
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