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Friends of the Orange Depot thanks supporters

Special to The Leader

The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Orange Depot (F.O.O.D.) wish to express appreciation to all the sponsors, supporters, volunteer helpers, and attendees for helping to make the “Denim and Diamonds” annual gala a success. The fundraiser raised $34,000 to be used toward the renovation of the depot, which is nearing completion.

Major Sponsors of the gala were Shaddock Homes and Capital Title. Both Peter and Bill Shaddock, owner of Capital Title, were graduates of Stark High School, and Bill serves on the board of F.O.O.D. Other local sponsors were Sabine Title, Mathews Jewelers, Granger Chevrolet, Claybar Funeral Home, KOGT, Dominion Forms, Jack & Juliet Smith, Car Works, Neighbors Emergency, The Orange Stationer, The Horseman Store, Fabricating Solutions, Eyeon Security/PinPoint, Liz Hogan Allstate, Barfield Home Inspection/Decoloris Religious Gifts, and Steirman-Whitfield.

Sincere thanks goes to all those sponsors and also to the following in-kind donors: Frey’s Landscaping, Pinehurst Gallery, Larry David, Rob Clark, Jack Elliott, Penny LeLeux, Stump Weatherford Photography and A La Carte Solutions.

Lending a hand at the event were Keysis Group from St. Francis, WO-S Key Club, Little Cypress Key Club, Top Teens of Ladies of Distinction, and Ladies of Distinction. F.O.O.D volunteers Paul Burch, Janet Bland, and Tanya Guillotte donated their time to sing some country and western songs for the audience.

Attending the event were 15 members of the 1959 Stark High School graduating class, many coming from out of town, to enjoy the festivities and support the five classmates who are passionate local volunteers and some board members who are working to save the depot. Two of the classmates on the board served as co-chairs this year, Rose Simar and Diana Hill. Several of the visiting classmates attended a tour of the depot guided by Jack Elliott, contractor, the Friday after the gala.

In addition to gala receipts, the organization has received 700 engraved brick donations as of December 8, and more are coming in. Since reaching this milestone, the committee has just ordered this first group of bricks to be engraved and they will be installed on the track side platform this spring. Though the group is still accepting brick orders, new ones will not be in this first production, but will be installed later in the year. The organization encourages everyone who still wants to purchase a brick to do so. They also make good holiday gifts while helping this great project at the same time.

NAMING OPPORTUNITIES

There are still some opportunities available for naming at the depot:

$25,000 – Northside Landscaped Park; $25,000 for the Railroad, Shipbuilding, or Petrochemical Museum Exhibit; $15,000 – The Gift Shop; $10,000 – Front Exterior Walkway; $7,500 – Major Entrance Door; $3,000 – Hall into Major Exhibit Room; One of Four Park Benches in Garden – $2,000. This month, the two inside Railroad Benches, $2,000 each, were taken: one, by Sue Ryder, in memory of her husband, Dan, and the remaining one, by the 1959 Stark High School class. Anyone who wishes to make a naming opportunity can do so on-line at the depot website: www.orangetxdepot.org. Credit cards are accepted and donations are tax deductible.

All of these donors will receive appropriate recognition on plaques in the front of the depot museum when finished.

Because of the generosity of all the donors which helped F.O.O.D. achieve its goals for renovating the depot, the building will be finished soon. Then, an open house will be scheduled in spring for everyone in the city to see the handsome transformation of this landmark historic building.

Fundraising is on-going for the museum exhibits and the financial goal is $75,000. More information will be released in the coming months on the museum plans. The committee is encouraging the support of corporate underwriting from the industries that will be on display in the new museum, namely, railroad transportation, shipbuilding, lumber and petrochemicals. Soon the committee will be asking for certain items that could be donated to those areas.