Society’s first fundraiser off to promising start

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 14, 2009

The Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society reporteda positive turnout for their first fundraiser Saturday, and saidthey expect more positive response from the community in thefuture.

The society held a silent auction slated for three nights overthe last week, starting with last Saturday’s Tour of Homes. Thesecond night of the fundraiser, set for Tuesday night’s meeting,was canceled when stormy weather threatened the area. But Saturdaybrought a few more people out to pick up on local artwork,antiques, and other collectibles despite a rainy afternoon.

“We’re very grateful and want to thank all the businesses andindividuals that donated,” said Historical Society President RitaRich.

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Rich said that the bids had not yet been tallied, but that sheexpected the auction to have gained close to $1,000 for thesociety. She said in the future, auctions would be held at adifferent time of year.

“This probably wasn’t a good time, because there have been somany other silent auctions here recently,” she said. “But we’rehappy for whatever money we have made, because this will pay theutilities for a few months.”

Historical Society Treasurer Mary Frances Phillips said thefirst fundraiser is an important step for the society because it isslated to play such an important part in preserving the county’shistory.

“There’s nothing else like this in Brookhaven to preserve theuniqueness of the town and county,” she said.

Phillips said the society is also working on other projects,such as getting a historical marker in January for St. Stephen’sRoad, a stretch that used to carry travelers through the southernpart of Brookhaven from Mobile to Natchez.

For those reasons, the society is also implementing a donationstructure that encourages history buffs, genealogists andphilanthropists alike to get involved. For those who are willing todonate $5,000 or more, they can garner the title of “Archivist,”which earns them a free lifetime membership in the historicalsociety. The second level, for those who donate $1,000 to $4,999,is “Historian,” which also earns the lifetime membership.

Donations of $500 to $999 earn the donor the title of”Collector,” and givers of any gifts between $50 and $499 aredesignated as “Genealogists.”

Historical society Vice President Tammie Brewer said the groupis mulling different ways to acknowledge generous benefactors witha plaque or some other lasting sign.

“We haven’t pinpointed exactly how we want to honor the donorsthat do give those kinds of donations,” she said.

In addition, Brewer said, donations can be made in memory or inhonor of other people. That is possible by contacting one of theboard members of the society, she said.

And the Tuesday meeting that was put off because of the weatherwill still be held, especially since there was so much interest inthe speaker, Wilson Farnham Jr., of the Brookhaven Sons ofConfederate Veterans. Brewer said he was slated to speak about theConfederate monument in Rosehill Cemetery. The meeting will berescheduled to sometime in January.

The meeting will be rescheduled for some time in January. Brewersaid it will be publicized once a date is chosen.