Mar 26, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Friends of Lorenzo had a very successful year in 2012 in terms of fundraising, membership and programming and plans to continue the positive trend into 2013. This was the message conveyed to the FOL board of directors at its annual meeting Thursday, March 21, at the Lincklaen House.
“Lorenzo is such a vital, important piece of Cazenovia, and it’s nice to know so many people stand behind us and support what we do,” said FOL President Casey Frazee. “We’re proud to be able to offer programs and support, and we are so grateful to all our members and supporters who make all these possible throughout the year.”
Friends of Lorenzo is a non-profit group dedicated to preserving the Lorenzo mansion and grounds by supplementing on-going programs, interpreting the site to the public, underwriting restoration projects and acquiring objects for the mansion. The FOL also supports Lorenzo research and publication projects and sponsors social, historical and cultural programs at the mansion.
“Truly this is a community effort. Please know that you are appreciated,” Lorenzo Director Barbara Bartlett told the board. “We depend so much on what you offer us in terms of time, funding, passion and everything. It really makes a difference to us.”
In 2012, the Friends continued their annual program offerings of Casino Night, garden gala, garden tours, movies at Lorenzo, community day in the fall and the Christmas preview party, along with numerous other smaller events and programs. It also supported new initiatives at the site such as providing fake food in the mansion kitchen and dining room to “add life” to those rooms, hiring a groundskeeper to help maintain the grounds beyond the formal gardens (which have been supported for more than 30 years) and a hiring a new schoolmarm for the Rippleton Schoolhouse summer programs.
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.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.