The tallies are in and state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, said the fifth annual Civil War Preservation Ball in the Pennsylvania Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg brought in approximately $10,000 toward preservation of the Commonwealth's monuments and markers on the Gettysburg battlefield.
The Victorian Dance Ensemble sponsored the evening to benefit the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project founded by Readshaw in 1997. For more than a decade, Readshaw's Raiders, as they have come to be called, have raised funds to repair and maintain the more than 140 monuments and markers honoring the troops and officers of the Commonwealth who fought for their home ground in the epic 1863 battle.
Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll joined Readshaw and his wife Carolyn in the customary grand march that opened ball. Rep. Dan Moul, R-Adams, and his wife, Lori, also participated.
After completing the drive for repair funding several years ago, Rep. Readshaw's followers are working on funding for a perpetual trust fund for each monument to ensure that periodic cleaning and maintenance will be provided for generations to come. Most of the more than 140 Pennsylvania monuments and markers were erected by the veterans of the units that fought there, along with funding assistance authorized by the General Assembly.
The overall target for the perpetual funds is $416,000. With Saturday evening's tally included, about $230,000 of that amount is in place.
“While we periodically receive donations from individuals, groups and businesses, the Preservation Ball and the fall motorcycle Ride for Preservation sponsored by the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E.) of Pennsylvania are our only regularly scheduled fundraisers,” said Mr. Readshaw. “Thanks to A.B.A.T.E. and the Victorian Dance Ensemble, we keep moving steadily toward our goal.”
Last year's ball raised more than $7,000 for the Monuments Project.
More information about the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project can be obtained by calling 717-783-0411 or by e-mail at email@example.com.