The Partners in Preservation contest ends tonight at midnight, only a few hours from now! If you have stuck with us though the entire five-week voting period -- many, many thanks! We've relished the challenge of devising clever yet non-intrusive ways for you to be reminded to vote, and admire your own perseverance in remembering every day. If you joined us along the way in our quest for the $100,000 preservation grant, we thank you as well. The incredible surge we experienced last week -- going from 15th place to 12th place in four days -- was remarkable and inspiring!
And, if you're only now reading this and wishing you could vote for us, there's still time to cast your ballot and show that Orchard House matters to you! Simply visit
We're very grateful for the exciting ways in which we've reached out on social networking sites and the many new and renewed friends and followers we've acquired in the process. We hope you will continue to check for updates on us in the future. Better yet, if you're ever in Concord, MA, do make sure to visit Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. Thank you all so much for your support!
We would like to share with you the following incredible story that occurred yesterday:
In the early morning hours of 12 May 2009, fire ravaged two stores on Main Street in Concord, Massachusetts: Fritz and Gigi's - The Children's Shop and Churchill Flowers. Fortunately, the lone apartment dweller above these businesses managed to call the fire department and get out safely. These businesses were located in historic buildings, and although they are likely to be structurally sound, the interiors -- complete with fine old woodworking details and generations of memories for Concord shoppers -- along with all the merchandise, are total losses. Re-building will proceed apace for these folks, but will take several months at the least before they can get back on solid ground. In our already awful economic climate, this could not have come at a worse time for these business owners.
During our well-attended "Spruce Up for Spring" Gardens & Grounds Clean-Up last weekend, some of our youngest volunteers took time out to join Executive Director Jan Turnquist in making an earnest plea for votes. Enjoy our first-ever in-House video (click on the Blog title to watch it on YouTube), and then please vote for us every day through May 17th at http://www.PartnersinPreservation.com.
This year marks the tenth time Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House has asked volunteers to help with our annual gardens and grounds clean-up. In the past, this event has not only helped us to save on costly landscaping fees, but also promotes a spirit of camaraderie that is beautiful to experience -- young and old and everyone in between working alongside each other to make "America's House" awake from its long Winter nap and look beautiful for the new tourism season!
The clean-up date of Saturday, April 25th also happens to fall on "Global Youth Service Day," an international effort to encourage youth volunteerism to make a difference in local communities. We provide Community Service credits to students and boy/girl scouts, so it's a terrific way to get what you need and have a good time doing it! (For more info on Global Youth Service Day, visit www.gysd.org.)
Finally, this year's clean-up is vital to our success, as it will help us "put our best face forward" when we host our Open House for the Partners in Preservation contest on May 2nd & 3rd. If we win, we will receive $100,000 to preserve Orchard House! (For details -- and to vote for us every day through May 17th! -- visit www.PartnersinPreservation.com.)
Volunteers can help out for the entire day or for an hour or two. Families are welcome, and you don't need previous gardening experience -- we have all manner of activity to keep folks busy! Healthy snacks and lunch are provided too, so what's not to like? (In the event of rain, "Spruce Up for Spring" will be held on Sunday, April 26th.) Hope you can help!