State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, is readying his dancing shoes for the upcoming Civil War Preservation in the Capitol Rotunda to benefit his Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project.
The seventh annual ball will run from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 20 in the Rotunda to the period music of the Philadelphia Brigade Band, formerly the 28th Pennsylvania Regimental Brass Band.
Organized by the Victorian Dance Ensemble of the Civil War Dance Foundation, the event benefits the Monuments Project founded by Readshaw in 1997 to repair and preserve the more than 140 monuments and markers on the pivotal Civil War battlefield, most of which were originally erected with funds appropriated by the General Assembly in the decades following the Adams County clash of arms.
The "icons of freedom," as Rep. Readshaw has labeled them, commemorate the tens of thousands of Pennsylvania volunteers who took part in the three-day engagement, marking their positions in the fields and hillsides and noting the many incidents of regimental and individual bravery and sacrifice.
With the funds for the immediate repair needs having been raised several years ago, the effort of Rep. Readshaw's organization, nicknamed "Readshaw's Raiders," has been the Endowment Trust Fund established for each specific monument to ensure financial resources are on hand in perpetuity to clean and maintain the markers for many more generations to come. Last year's ball raised $3,500.
"The annual ball has helped us to steadily increase the number of perpetual trusts we can create for each Pennsylvania monument or marker," said Mr. Readshaw. "These were average people from all walks of life in Pennsylvania who volunteered to put their lives on the line to preserve the Union and, at Gettysburg, to defend their home ground."
Period dress is encouraged for ball participants, though modern attire of suits and ties for men and dresses for ladies is likewise welcome. It is recommended that ladies wear flat-soled shoes to accommodate the Rotunda's uneven tile floor.
Reenactor side arms, swords, spurs or weapons of any kind are prohibited.
Due to the space required for dance, a maximum of 120 tickets have been made available. The cost is $35 per person or $60 per couple. Questions on ticket availability or other aspects of the ball should be directed to 717-732-5330.
Rep. Readshaw can be contacted about the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project by calling his Harrisburg office at 717-783-0411 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.