Thursday, September 29, 2011
Reserve your ticket to fund-raiser
By CHELIUS CARTER
Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs, Inc., (PMCHS) has been diligently pulling together all the moving parts needed in moving historic Chalmers Institute along towards a real project.
There is scarcely a person I have talked with in Holly Springs about this project who has not expressed some level of relief that the years of frustration at numerous efforts to preserve this remarkably historic building, and that PMCHS has managed to get real traction. Know that this project is going to happen and if you are of the many who have wondered if anything was ever going to be done about old Chalmers – that day is over. If you are of the number that have said, “I’ve been reading about this project and have been meaning to send something to you to help out.” If that sounds familiar, then this is your time to “step up to the plate,” as our dear departed friend Al Hale would have put it.
Much is said of our historic homes and buildings here in Holly Springs; that we put great value in their continued preservation as vital touchstones to our town and region’s unique history and its culture. Few people have a real opportunity to actively participate on the ground floor of a project of this historic significance...the preservation of the first university in the state of Mississippi. This is that rare opportunity to link arms with Holly Springs’ founding visionaries in 1836 and see their vision of what became Chalmers Institute, which faltered from the irreversible effects of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878, flourish once more with a new vision as this proud edifice nears its 200th year of existence.
Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs, Inc. is applying for a Community Heritage Preservation Grant (CHPG), funded through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and under PMCHS’ ownership, Chalmers Institute has the best shot it has ever had at being approved for a grant to continue stabilization work. We have a conceptual plan for this historic building’s re-use as a community and regional asset and are submitting for an additional grant to validate the plan’s feasibility in this town and region. The important act that must be done now is to complete its stabilization, so that this building with its truly unique history – one of Mississippi’s sleeping treasures – will survive and be made ready for planning its ultimate rehabilitation for a future life.
PMCHS is required to provide a 20 percent cash match for the Community Heritage Preservation Grant. Hence, each dollar amount raised for Chalmers Institute prior to the CHPG deadline of October 7 has a multiplier of 4.5 that can be requested from Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH).
The best way you can help is to either make a donation to Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs, Inc. and/or reserve your ticket to our first annual fund-raiser dinner/event, The Wrecking Ball. Do it now, so that your contribution will count towards building up our 20 percent match, hence, a larger grant request from MDAH.
Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.visithollysprings.com/wrecking-ball. Read our updates on Facebook: www.visithollysprings.com/wrecking-ball.
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