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Watson-Brown Junior Board awards grants to various community groups

The Junior Board of Trustees of the Watson-Brown Foundation recently awarded several grants to further their mission of preserving local history.

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Representatives of the Junior Board of Trustees of the Watson-Brown Foundation present a check to representatives from the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce.

"This year was the most diverse group of grants we have ever awarded, and I hope that trend continues in the future. We covered multiple areas, and I hope our grants continue to be given in as many areas of the CSRA as possible," said Lauren Pinson, the president of the Junior Board.

A grant of $5,000, was awarded to the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta for the preservation of films from the Sinking Creek film festival collection. The collection represents two decades of unique southern films. Plans are to have the films available for viewing at the museum within a couple of years.

"The Morris Museum project will take so long because (they have) to track down every film maker or descendent to acquire copyright permissions. ... The collection consists of about 400 films, so it's a major undertaking," said Michelle Zupan, the curator for the historic homes of Sen. Thomas E. Watson.

A second grant of $6,500 was awarded to the U.S. Army Signal Corps Museum at Fort Gordon for the preservation of a V-17A pole truck. The truck was used during the Vietnam War to erect telephone poles which allowed army units to communicate with each other.

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Representatives of the Junior Board of Trustees of the Watson-Brown Foundation present a check to representatives from the Washington's Little Theater.

"It's a special project for several reasons," Ms. Zupan said. "...It's the first time the Foundation has worked with Fort Gordon on any grand scale. It's a relationship we are excited to have. ... It's also unique because the V-17A is the only one known to have been restored for a museum collection."

A third grant for $8,100 went to the Burke County Genealogical Society in Waynesboro. The grant will be used to conserve a portrait of Thomas Berrien, who is an early resident and barrister in Burke County. The portrait was discovered in the courthouse clock tower and will be hung in the courtroom after restoration.

"My personal favorite grant was for the portrait restoration in Burke County," Lauren said. "I think it's a neat piece of history for that community, and I plan on going to see it unveiled when it is complete."

Lauren also said the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce received a $2,000 grant for granite historical markers at the First Town Spring and the Nancy Hart Cabin; and Washington's Little Theater received $2,798 to refurbish the entrance of the theater, which is housed in the old Armory gymnasium.

The Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board is a group of local high school students who award $25,000 in grants annually to preservation projects in the Central Savannah River Area.



Web posted on Thursday, June 8, 2006













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