March 4, 2008 |

Preservation Ball will benefit Gettysburg monuments

A limited number of tickets remain available for this year's Civil War Preservation Ball set for March 29 in the magnificent Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg.

The ball is sponsored by the Victorian Dance Ensemble. Proceeds will go to the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project created by state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Carrick. The project's current goal is to furnish a perpetual care trust fund for the more than 140 monuments and markers honoring the troops and officers of the Commonwealth who fought in the pivotal 1863 battle of the Civil War.

The target for the fund is $416,000. Thus far about $220,000 has been raised. The trust will provide financing for periodic cleaning and other minor regular maintenance to keep the monuments looking their best and preserve them for as long as possible.

Earlier efforts by Rep. Readshaw and his supporters, dubbed “Readshaw's Raiders,” ensured funding was available to provide the immediate maintenance needs of the monuments, including repairs due to wear, the effects of time and vandalism.

The Pennsylvania monuments and markers were originally erected through allocations from the General Assembly and funds raised by the veterans of the battle.

Music for the Preservation Ball will again be provided by the 28th Pennsylvania Regimental Band. Most of the band members play original 19th century brass instruments.

Attendees are asked to wear appropriate Civil War attire or modern suits and ties for gentlemen and dresses for ladies. Flat shoes are advised due to the uneven tile surface in the rotunda.

“The spectacle of the grand march, with the colorful dresses and soldiers uniforms with the polished brass is quite a spectacle, especially combined with the historic setting of the Capitol Rotunda,” Readshaw said.

Last year's ball raised more than $7,000 for the Monuments Project.

Tickets are $35 per person or $60 per couple and can be reserved by calling 717-732-5330. The deadline for reservations is Thursday, March 20. No tickets will be sold at the door. More information about the Preservation Ball can be obtained by e-mailing civilwardancer@aol.com.

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