The Fort New Salem Foundation, Inc., will host an auction Saturday, Aug. 15 to benefit the historical site through its ‘Reshape The Future 2015’ Campaign, a capital effort to directly support the upgrade and maintenance of this living history museum.
The fort experience involves seeing real people dressed in period clothing and functioning in the everyday lifestyle of that early 19th Century era.
Gates for the auction will be open at 8 a.m. so people can check out the auction items before the bidding begins at 10 a.m., said optometrist Dr. Joseph Audia, chairperson of the all-volunteer foundation board of directors. The auction will take place in the fort’s parking lot.
Some of the items already on the auction list include: room dehumidifiers, a snow blower, a Pentax Optos 550 digital camera, an HP inkjet printer, computer monitors and accessories, glassware and a desk chair, reported Audia. But Audia suggests people keep visiting their website at fortnewsalemfoundation.org to get the most current list, as it will be updated as time progresses toward the time of the auction.
Audia found unique auction items in his own business inventory that will also be on the roster. “We found a wardrobe of about 200 women’s medical scrubs in various colors that we weren’t going to use,” he reported.
This is one way to help with fundraising for the campaign – donating good, usable items people have that they don’t need. “The items that are donated for the auction can have larger benefit than just being [stored away],” he stated. “You always have something around that you no longer need. It’s a fun and easy way to help.” Of course, they welcome brand new items as well.
The foundation is hoping to include some other big ticket items, such as guns, tractors, ATVs and popular restaurant gift certificates. “We are recruiting for these items,” Audia said.
Another way to help with the auction’s fund-raising efforts is to offer consignment items that will still remain the property of the consigner. If the item sells for at least the minimum set by the owner, that person keeps 92 percent of the amount generated by the item, and 8 percent goes to the foundation. And, if it’s a high-end item, that percent is still a good “chunk of change” for the foundation, Audia stated.
Of course, a third way to help with the success of the auction is to come out, bring your cash and bid on some great items that strike your fancy or need. There will be food to enjoy as you check out the interesting items and bid on your favorites, Audia said.
All proceeds from the auction go toward the capital campaign, whose cornerstone comprises the four cabins on the property that need either major construction or renovations. These are: the Reynolds House, the Green Tree Tavern, the Block House and the Old Administration Building.
‘The Reshaping the Future 2015’ Campaign goal is $250,000. Audia stated that with the support of businesses, supporters and the general public, the foundation is optimistic it will be able to meet that goal. “We’re very hopeful.”
The reason the dedicated and talented Fort New Salem Foundation volunteers work so hard at fundraising and offering and hosting events, they say, is to keep history alive and fun for present and future generations.
“You have to understand your past to know where your future is,” Audia explained. “Our visitors get to step back in time to the early 1800s and see the life that our pioneer forefathers lived. And, unlike some museum experiences, we strive to make it a fun time as we incorporate learning. When people visit Fort New Salem, they make a memory for life.”
The Fort hosts several special events throughout the year, such as a multi-faceted entertainment experience during the holidays dubbed “Spirit of Christmas”, night tours in the summer called “Myths of the Mountains”. a Memorial Day event and Easter egg hunt. The fort also hosts school group tours.
The Foundation works to support Fort New Salem in preserving and advancing the educational, historical, cultural and social aspects of 19th Century West(ern) Virginia, Audia added.
For more information about the auction, the campaign, the fort’s fees and free events, the history of the fort, or how you can donate or volunteer, visit fortnewsalemfoundation.org. Or call (304) 695-2220; or write to: Fort New Salem, 81 Settlers Lane, Salem, P.O. Box 186, WV 26426. People can also visit it on Facebook.