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Milledgeville Junior Board awards grants in Middle Georgia

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POSTED: June 13, 2008
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Milledgeville Junior Board awards grants in Middle Georgia

large photo The Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board of Trustees, Milledgeville Chapter has awarded $33,000 to fund preservation projects throughout Middle Georgia, announced Matt Davis, assistant curator of education at the Old Governor’s Mansion and coordinator of the Junior Board project.

Grants awarded by the board are:

• $5,000 to Georgia’s Old Capital Museum Society in Milledgeville to restore a bedroom in the Brown-Stetson Sanford House.
• $5,000 to Lockerly Arboretum Foundation in Milledgeville to install window shades at Lockerly Hall.
• $4,850 to Eatonton/Putnam Arts Foundation in Eatonton towards the purchase of exhibit cases in the Old School Museum.
• $5,000 to Friends of Baldwin County Cemeteries to restore the Fish vault located within Memory Hill Cemetery.
• $5,150 to Madison-Morgan Cultural Center to fund an exhibit at The Schoolhouse of 1895.

“It’s very rewarding to guide a group of high school students through the process of preserving history in Middle Georgia,” said Davis.

The Milledgeville Chapter was established in October 2006 through a grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation that provides funds for preservation projects selected and approved by the board. The grant is renewable on a yearly basis. The board functions as part of the educational programming at the Old Governor's Mansion, a unit of Georgia College & State University.

The Junior Board is made up of high school students who demonstrate a passion for historic preservation, are active in the community, have good academic standing, and have strong references from teachers. Members of this year's board are President Sydney McRee of Milledgeville; Vice President Taylor Pounds of Sparta; Secretary Taylor-Rebecca Smith of Milledgeville; Parliamentarian Judson Simmons of Milledgeville; Historian Andrew Sheppard of Eatonton; Morgan Erdman of Gordon; Jacob Pounds and April Lawson, both of Sparta; and Megan Gillis, Caitlin McNeill, and Ruskin Seabrook, all of Milledgeville.

Board members received 15 applications this year requesting $150,000 in grants. The board divided into teams and visited each site, then presented their selected projects to the rest of the board for consideration and funding approval. The Junior Board distributed $25,000 in grants in 2007.

“I am very grateful to the Watson-Brown Foundation for their continued generosity and support,” said Old Governor’s Mansion Director Jim Turner. “The Junior Board is an important part of our overall educational outreach program. I am also very proud of the Junior Board members and their dedication to historic preservation. These very bright students are a credit to their peers and also the community.”

The Junior Board expanded its coverage area this year to include 11-counties within middle Georgia including: Baldwin, Putnam, Morgan, Jasper, Hancock, Monroe, Jones, Washington, Bibb, Wilkinson and Twiggs.

Tad Brown, president of the Watson-Brown Foundation, said the original idea to involve high school students began seven years ago in an effort to influence youth philanthropy. Building on that mission, the Foundation formed a team of talented high school students and charged it with preserving history in the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia.

Applications for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors for openings on the 2008-2009 Junior Board will become available in August, Davis said.

The Old Governor's Mansion is a part of Extended University at Georgia College & State University, a unit of the university's Academic Affairs Division.

For more information about this program Matt Davis, assistant curator of education and coordinator of the Junior Board project or Jim Turner, director at (478) 445-4545.

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For more information, contact Judy Bailey in University Communications at (478) 445-4477.