Once again, the Civil War Preservation Ball, hosted by State Representative Harry Readshaw, was a great success. The sell out event raised $8,000 for the Monument Endowment Trust Fund to help repair, maintain and conserve the monuments at the Gettysburg National Military Park. Over 200 people came from seven states to dance in the beautiful rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building on March 24.
The rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol is the most spectacular setting for a Civil War ball. Dancers were surrounded by stunning architecture, beautiful paintings, inspiring sculptures, and historical artifacts. The current building was built on the site of the old “Red Brick Capitol” that was destroyed by fire in 1897. The old capitol saw Abraham Lincoln address the state legislature while on his was to be inaugurated in 1861 and his body laid in state in 1865 on the journey home to Springfield, Illinois. The new capitol was dedicated in 1906 and no expense was spared in making it a “palace of art.” Standing in the rotunda, President Theodore Roosevelt remarked, "It is the handsomest building I've ever seen." It was a rare opportunity and a treat to dance in such a very special place and to help us preserve our Civil War history!
The Victorian Dance Ensemble dancers provided dance demonstrations, floor managed, and danced with guests, while Larry Keener-Farley, Rebecca Kesler and Jeff Trace called the dances. The Philadelphia Brigade Band, under the direction of Rich Cummines, provided the dance music and Mr. Lemuel’s Red Mill Serenaders played for the intermission. New this year, Boy Scout Venture Crew 53, portraying the 1st Pennsylvania Reserves Fifes and Drums, greeted the arriving guests.
Special guests included Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendant Bob Kirby, President Abraham Lincoln (Jim Getty), and General Robert E. Lee (Frank Orlando).
In addition to the dancers, sponsors helped to swell the funds raised for preservation and to underwrite the expenses – PNC Bank, Gmerek Government Relations, Inc., Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Malady & Wooten, L.L.P., Buchart Horn, Inc., Basco Associates, Pennsylvania American Water Company, Cranmer Associates, Eckert Seamans, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and Bugles Across America.
For photos of the Ball, visit www.CivilWarDance.org
Next year’s 10th Annual Civil War Preservation Ball will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2013. Plan now to attend!
Victorian Dance Ensemble
performing troupe of the
Civil War Dance Foundation
2011 Reenactment Unit of the Year