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 news release--Susquehanna Township students walk to save monuments


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CONTACT: Kathi Schue, (717) 783-0411

HARRISBURG, Apr. 30 - More than 100 students, parents and teachers from Herbert Hoover Elementary School in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, met the "Monument Challenge" Saturday, walking to raise money to help preserve three Pennsylvania monuments at Gettysburg.

The fifth-graders walked six laps around Harrisburg's City Island to stack up three miles after raising donations for the monuments. The total of the money raised is still being computed, but is expected to exceed $3,000. Two of the monuments honor regiments--the 28th and 29th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry--and the third monument marks the spot where Col. Strong Vincent of Erie died during the Union defense of Little Round Top on the second day of the battle.

The Monument Challenge is part of the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project spearheaded by state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, to restore and preserve the 147 Pennsylvania monuments and markers on the Adams County battlefield. The challenge is endorsed by the Pennsylvania State Education Association. The students were accompanied by walk grand marshal Jay Purdy, a monuments project co-founder, who made the walk equipped as a Union Army private. Purdy is a reenactor with the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

At the start of the walk, Purdy told the participants, "Because of what you are doing here today, in the future, when you visit Gettysburg with your own children or grandchildren, you'll be able to show them these three monuments that you personally helped to keep standing."

Readshaw's supporters, who took the nickname "Readshaw's Raiders" after a newspaper account applied the name to them, have raised enough money to ensure that all of the Commonwealth's Gettysburg monuments will be cleaned and repaired and are now working to provide perpetual endowment trust funds to finance any additional maintenance needed in the future.

"We have a growing list of schools that have taken part in the Monument Challenge," Readshaw said. "It appears that when their donations are tallied, Herbert Hoover Elementary will be one of the top schools to meet the challenge."


more information:

Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at gettysburg@pahouse.net or by phone, 717-783-0411.

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