03-28-2006, 11:39 AM
I would like to thank everyone who supported the 3rd Annual Civil War Preservation Ball held in the Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, Saturday, March 25. With ticket sales, donations and sponsorships, we far surpassed the amount needed to pay for the repairs to the 114th Pennsylvania monument.

State Representative Harry Readshaw announced that the excess would be split between the New York and Massachusetts monuments that were also vandalized. We are still getting donations and a full report will be provided later.

Over 140 guests attended the ball, an increase over the 100 we had last year and it seems that everyone had a good time while supporting the cause of preservation. We had guests from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia . A video clip can be found at http://www.abc27.com/news/stories/0306/313928.html.

We also had a group of Rotary Club exchange students from a number of foreign countries who came to watch from the balcony. Several even joined in the dancing and experienced American hospitality and history firsthand.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll was unable to join this year but she did stop in as we were setting up to wish us luck. She had to go to a political meeting but I think she would have preferred to stay with us and have fun. Catherine has always been a great supporter of the “Readshaw Raiders” activities, even joining in the motorcycle ride to Gettysburg.

Special thanks go to the 28th Pennsylvania Regimental Brass Band for their excellent music and the Victorian Dance Ensemble members for demonstrating the dances and floor managing the sets. Thanks also to the Camp Curtin Historical Society members for their administrative help, O’Rorke’s of Gettysburg for refreshments, and the security staff at the Capitol who did their job in a friendly and helpful manner.

Also, a big thank you to Ruthann Hubbert-Kemper, director of the Capitol Preservation Committee, who opened the Senate and House chambers during the intermission and gave tours of those beautiful rooms. For the past 20 years that I have known her, she has been in charge of restoring the Capitol to its former glory and she has accomplished her mission as the grand old building celebrates its centennial this year.

We did have a few problems as with any growing event – the coat racks did not arrive so we did not have a coat check, because of the new location of the band there was a communications problem between the dance master the band, and a few guests decided to “do their own thing” in a corner rather than joining in the festivities with everyone else.

We will resolve our problems and next year's ball will be even better. I do think, however, we reached our maximum number of dancers for the room so tickets will be limited next year.

Thanks again,

Lawrence E. “Larry” Keener-Farley
Victorian Dance Ensemble

P.S. During the last few minutes of the ball, the photographer delivered the group photograph. Unfortunately, I did not know it at the time and so did not make an announcement. Only a few people picked them up on their way out. Attendees should email us if they did not get a picture (they are free) and we will mail them to you.

03-30-2006, 12:51 AM
According to Pennsylvania State Representative Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, the 3rd Annual Civil War Preservation Ball, sponsored by the Victorian Dance Ensemble, raised approximately $7,325. The National Park Service estimates the cost of repairing the 114th Pa. monument at $5,800. Readshaw said that in addition to covering that bill, the additional $1,525 will be divided between the funds to repair two monuments even more heavily damaged in last month’s attack by vandals. The funds will be turned over to the Gettysburg National Military Park.

For the full press release see http://www.pahouse.com/readshaw/#Press