continued The organization sent out its annual fundraising appeal to the community last December, and as of March 20, 2013, had raised $15,500, while 52 percent of previous members had already renewed their memberships, said Chris Jenner, member of the FOL membership committee. Another mailing will go out soon, and is expected to garner continued support, as it is a trend of the organization to receive donations and memberships throughout the year, she said.
In 2012, the FOL also offered a membership initiative to those who added an extra $50 to their donations. That benefit will be a “secret spaces” tour of Lorenzo on May 4, during which participants will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the mansion and be shown sections of the site typically unseen by the public. Thirty-nine couples have already signed up for the tour, Jenner said.
On the financial side, the FOL comes into 2013 with a cash balance of $68,492 – which is $12,550 more than last year, said FOL Treasurer Carolyn Benzing.
“We are financially viable and even growing during a time of economic downturn, which says a lot about the community,” Benzing said. “Obviously this shows that people care about Lorenzo.”
Part of the board’s raised funds will be used for a new “lasting legacy” project to help preserve the interior plaster of the mansion, Frazee said. The plan is to accomplish plaster repairs in the kitchen, and plaster restoration of the two second floor west bathrooms and a second floor servant’s bedchamber, she said. The project will not begin until the winter 2013-14 months when the mansion is closed for tours and after coordination with the state conservation experts who will advise on the protection and security of the building interior while the work is in progress.
For more information on the Friends of Lorenzo or to become a member, visit lorenzony.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.