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Raffle supports Historical Society of West Point

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WEST POINT — The Historical Society of West Point (HSWP) is raffling off a 43-inch Samsung flat-screen TV as it raises funds to establish a permanent home for its collections. Raffle tickets cost $3 apiece, two for $5, and may be purchased from any Society member or at West Point Antiques on Main Street. The winner will be selected at the Society's October 13 meeting. HSWP is grateful for the support of Wyatt-Ogg/Radio Shack in this fundraising effort.

Established in 2008, HSWP has received broad community support over the past five years, with the result that more than 1200 items have been contributed to its collections. The Society's mission includes the preservation and conservation of artifacts that bear witness to our community's long and rich history. More than that, however, HSWP believes that the variety of objects it has collected have an educational purpose. Through them, all citizens-and especially our young people-will be able to learn about West Point's exceptional place in our nation's history.

Currently, HSWP is at a critical crossroads. For the past few years, space has been allotted at the Downtown Business Center for office space and a few exhibits. Assisted by volunteers who have offered thousands of hours of help, HSWP curator Holly Horton has brought a professional approach to the conservation and display of the artifacts in these exhibits. Now the time has arrived to expand the Society's outreach, both in room for its collections and space for its educational activities. To fund this major undertaking, HSWP president Sandra Willis has announced a Capital Campaign that will seek significant financial support from the community. The objective is to raise $450,000 that will provide West Point with a town museum and educational center.

Local citizens already have contributed some $20,000 toward this goal. Recently, the Elis Olsson Memorial Foundation matched a $40,000 grant from the Town of West Point. This current total of $100,000 is an excellent start, and the HSWP Board of Directors hopes that the community will respond as generously as it has with donations of historic artifacts. Please contact HSWP at P.O. Box 1556, West Point, VA 23181, with questions or if you wish to contribute.

The Society welcomes all to its next quarterly meeting, which will be held at the Downtown Business Center, 621 Main Street, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 13. In addition to the drawing for the 43-inch flat-screen TV, HSWP publications chairman William A. Palmer, Jr. will speak on the topic "Finding Oscar: My Search for a Lost Confederate Soldier." The meeting is free to the public.