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Gettysburg Monuments Project passes $100K
CONTACT: Jay Purdy (717) 787-7895
HARRISBURG, April 7 --"The bugles are sounding and we're at a full gallop charge," said state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, today in announcing that his campaign to preserve 137 Pennsylvania monuments and markers at Gettysburg has passed the $100,000 mark.
"In fact, we're on the north side of $150,000."
Today, Readshaw accepted checks from two groups who have pledged to help his effort. In a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, a 5th grade class from East Pennsboro Middle School in Cumberland County gave a check for $1,420 to complete funding for the restoration and endowment of the monument to the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in the Wheatfield portion of the Adams County battlefield. On July 2, 1863, the regiment lost nearly one-third of its members in an advance against the Confederate troops on the second day of the three-day battle. The students of teacher Austin Willi's class raised funds through the sale of Civil War-era scenes and local landmark prints drawn by Willi.
Joining Readshaw in accepting the funds was Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, chairman of the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Advisory Committee that was formed as a result of legislative action by Readshaw. Clymer's support has been pivotal to the growing success of the monument preservation effort.
Also at the Rotunda gathering, state Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone, D-Berks, handed Readshaw and Clymer a check for $1,500 to wrap up funding for the "Teachers' Monument" that honors the 151st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, which saw action on the first day of the battle. Teachers from central Pennsylvania made up a large portion of the regiment. Caltagirone is spearheading a bipartisan effort by the Berks County House delegation to fund the monuments honoring soldiers from their county. So far his efforts have netted the Gettysburg Monuments Project a total of $4,200.
The check Caltagirone presented today came from the Berks Education Association. It completes the financing of the Teachers' Monument, which also was aided by contributions from the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the Friends and Descendants of the 151st Regiment. In addition, funding was secured for the monument to the 9th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry. Rep. Tom Stevenson, R-Allegheny, coordinated the fund drive to preserve and endow the monument. Donations were received from Reps. John Pippy, John Maher, Jane Orie and Jeff Habay, all R-Allegheny, as well as Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler. The Pennsylvania Utility Contractors pledged $4,000 to top off the effort.
Several other monuments and markers requiring smaller amounts of for maintenance and endowment have also been provided for. Readshaw said he has received a pledge from an individual to cover the costs of funding all the Pennsylvania cavalry and equestrian monuments at Gettysburg. He said the specifics will be released later, but that the effort will include participation of 4-H members in the region as well as a commitment of private funds. The total pledge is for $101,300.
"It has taken two years and a lot of work by many people to help us reach our stride," said Readshaw. "It has been a matter of building momentum. Now, we've reached one-fifth of our goal and we have the momentum. The challenge remains to keep that momentum and charge for the finish line."Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 717-783-0411.
Updated: October 25, 2000
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