Home Arts-Entertainment Showcase 'FRIENDS' GALA GOAL IS $100,000 FOR PARK CENTER



The Friends of the V.I National Park organization is looking for 200 people who would like to spend the night of Wednesday, Dec. 29, at a gala dinner dance and are willing to pay $250 apiece to do so — and thus raise funds for a cause that concerns both the past and the future.
The goal of those organizing the "Preserve the Past Gala" is to raise $100,000 to help pay for displays and classrooms to impart information about St. John's pre-Columbian history in a new environmental heritage center planned for the park.
According to a release from the not-for-profit organization, the center "will 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."
Among the gala evening's attractions are "entertainment, informative exhibits, tasty treats and romantic moonlit dancing." It will all come about at the private Peter Bay estate of Andy and Jo Stillman.
Friends of the V.I. National Park is "determined to assure cultural artifacts are available for viewing on St. John," the release states. Since the dig at Cinnamon Bay began in July 1998, more than 2,000 volunteers, many of them local students, have devoted more than 12,000 hours to uncovering artifacts.
"It would be a travesty to hide these treasures in archival drawers. . . unavailable for Virgin Islanders and visitors to appreciate," it says.
The $250 tickets to the gala are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Attendance will be limited to 200 persons. For further information, call 779-4940.


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