87.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 4, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesFRIENDS' GALA RAISES $38,000 FOR PARK DISPLAYS

FRIENDS' GALA RAISES $38,000 FOR PARK DISPLAYS

If you give the right kind of party, people will come. And if you ask them to give to a compelling cause, they will come up with the cash. Generously.
That's how the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park raised $38,000 in one enjoyable evening.
Friends president John Garrison said the "Preserve the Past Gala" held at the home of Jo and Andy Stillman in exclusive Peter Bay on Wednesday, Dec. 29, drew about 150 guests. Tickets were $250, with the proceeds to benefit the Friends' project to display hundreds of Taino artifacts uncovered at Cinnamon Bay excavations in an envionmental heritage center planned for the park.
"So far it's about $38,000, but the money is still coming in," Garrison said Friday. "Everybody had a great time."
The largest Cinnamon Bay dig has been going on for 18 months. Finds include a number of zemis, described by National Park Service archaeologist Ken Wilde as figurines depicting Taino gods. A number of zemis were found within household goods dug up at the site, Wilde said, and their presence indicates the items belonged to a tribal chief.
Garrison said the proceeds from the party will be placed in a bank account, to be joined by other funds as they are raised until enough money is in hand to buy display cases. The overall project "could cost between $200,000 and $300,000," he said.
Construction of the environmental heritage center itself is contingent on the approval of $3 million in federal funding by Congress and President Clinton. A conceptual design for the facility incorporates a roofed orientation amphitheater and four "resource pods" with interactive displays of marine ecology, land ecology, pre-Columbian archeology and post-Columbian cultural history.
The federal funding would be only for construction of the building. Display space within it must be funded privately. Furthermore, federal officials have stated, "Private contributions in hand will positively influence the congressional hearings on appropriations."
The Dec. 29 gala was to raise funds for use within the pre-Columbian archeology pod, to "house precious artifacts unearthed at the St. John archeology digs and educate school children and park visitors about preservation and protection of our extraordinary natural environmental and cultural heritage," a Friends release stated.
Since the dig at Cinnamon Bay began in July 1998, more than 2,000 volunteers have devoted more than 12,000 hours to uncovering artifacts. Friends of the V.I. National Park is "determined to assure cultural artifacts are available for viewing on St. John," the release said. For further information about the project, call the Friends office at 779-4940.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.



STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,757FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
This message is only visible to admins.
Problem displaying Facebook posts.
Error: Server configuration issue