for immediate release
Readshaw's Raiders saddle up
CONTACT: Jay Purdy (717) 787-7895
HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 - The bugles are sounding once again as Readshaw's Raiders prepare to launch another phase of their campaign to ensure the preservation of the 146 smaller Pennsylvania monuments and markers on the battlefield at Gettysburg.
"We secured the funds to get them restored, now the challenge is to ensure they stay that way," Readshaw said. "That's where the endowment trusts come in. They'll fund any future maintenance needs for as long as future generations are able to perform them. We're talking decades - maybe even hundreds of years."
Readshaw said the target figure to provide all 146 monuments with perpetual endowments is $431,000. Thus far, his Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project has secured $93,000 - enough to provide trusts for 51 of the smaller monuments, approximately one-third of the total - including three monuments previously endowed.
"These were the easy ones - those expected to need the least amount of attention over the years," Readshaw said. "The larger and more intricate monuments are our focus now." The stalwarts in the three-year-old effort have adopted the nickname "Readshaw's Raiders" after an early newspaper article applied the term to the campaign.
"They're veteran troops now. Because they proved the naysayers wrong, over the next couple years we'll witness the tangible evidence as the Pennsylvania monuments are restored to stand as proud and strong as any other on the hallowed ground," Readshaw said. "Maybe even a bit prouder because a modern corps of Pennsylvania volunteers are leading the way for the other states, North and South, to follow."
Readshaw's Raiders recently got a boost out of the blue when a Media, PA couple sent them a check for $1,000. The great-great-great-grandfather of Gary L. Grove, Lt. Daniel G. Blett, fought at Gettysburg with the 1st Pennsylvania Rifles, nicknamed "Bucktails."
"I thought I'd surf the Internet to see if there was any new info on the Bucktails and came across your plea for help in fighting the 'Second Battle of Gettysburg,' " Grove wrote Readshaw. "It just naturally followed that I make a contribution to help support your project."
Readshaw said plans are to greatly expand the "Readshaw Challenge" that involves school classes in the project. He also vowed that next April's second annual "Monument Challenge 5k Run/Walk" at the historic Daniel Lady Farm in Gettysburg will be bigger and better than last year's inaugural event.
"Most importantly, it will remain a nonpartisan campaign," Readshaw said. "Political affiliation didn't mean anything to the bullets that cut down brave Pennsylvanians at Gettysburg." Readshaw will continue the steady flow of news releases and public events that marked the progress of the first phase of the monument preservation campaign.
"They worked," said Readshaw. "Why mess with success?"Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 717-783-0411.
Updated: October 25, 2000
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