Seaford Historical Society gives update on fundraising during annual meeting

By Lynn R. Parks

The Seaford Historical Society has raised more than $1 million for construction of its planned visitors and education center. Outgoing president Maria Heyssel announced the tally at the historical societys annual meeting Monday night.

The money includes $20,000 from local donors, Heyssel said. Carol Johnson, president of the Spade and Trowel garden club, was at the meeting to present a check for $1,000 from her organization.

Treasurer Rob Hutton told historical society members that he expects work on the building to begin in April or May, and for construction to be completed by the end of the summer.

The Ross Station will be constructed near the intersection of North Market Street Extended and Venture Drive, in a corner of the Ross Plantation, which is owned by the historical society. It will be 6,225 square feet in size and will include a 3,650-square foot banquet room capable of seating 225 people.

The city of Seaford has already given preliminary approval to the construction plans. Hutton said that project has nearly all the permits that are required.

The annual meeting was held at the Moose Lodge near Seaford. It included dinner and entertainment by society members Dan Parsons and Bill Collison, as well as an awards ceremony. Madison Welch was recognized as the Youth Volunteer of the Year, Thresa Allen, who organized last summers tribute to country music at the Seaford Museum, as the Museum Volunteer of the Year, and publicity chairwoman Phyllis Williams as the Ross Mansion Volunteer of the Year. The societys overall Volunteer of the Year was Lori Westcott, who has helped with fundraising for the organization.

The meeting also included the election of officers for the upcoming year. Beverly Hutton will serve as president, Jim Bowden as vice president and Eileen Watkins as secretary. Rob Hutton will continue in his role as treasurer.

Overseeing her final meeting as president, Heyssel said that it had been a privilege to lead the historical society. I have enjoyed it very much, she said. There have been a few late nights and a little lost sleep, but it has been worth it.

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