For Immediate Release: 06/02/10

Kentucky Battlefield Advocates Honored by National Preservation Group

Civil War Preservation Trust recognizes two Bluegrass State residents for commitment to American history

(Lexington, Ky.) – During a ceremony this morning at the Hilton Downtown Lexington Hotel, the national Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) recognized two preservation advocates with the organization’s Chairman’s Awards for Achievement in Historic Preservation.  The awards, presented by CWPT Chairman John L. Nau, III during the organization’s board of trustees meeting and annual conference, honored Wayne Basconi of Nonesuch, Ky., and Dr. Edwin Ahrens of Prospect, Ky.

According to Nau, the awards are meant to recognize the “unsung heroes” of historic preservation.  “Our ability to achieve milestones and save battlefield land is due to the dedication and generosity of our supporters across the country.  Through their tremendous commitment, we are able to save the crucial hallowed ground that tells the story of those that came before us.  Each of our contributors is critical to our mission and we strive to be the most responsible stewards of their charitable gifts.  But these two gentlemen deserve particular praise and recognition for their extraordinary dedication,” he said.

Wayne Basconi is a 13-year member of CWPT, donating generously to a wide variety of land protection initiatives across the years.  A firm believer in the importance of walking a battlefield in order to gain a thorough understanding of its significance, Basconi is a constant presence at CWPT events.  Beginning in Richmond, Va., in 1999, he has attended every one of the organization’s annual conferences (including this year’s annual conference in Lexington, Ky.).

Dr. Edwin “Win” Aherns, first joined CWPT in 2005, but has already made a significant mark on the organization.  Working through the Ahrens Family Foundation, he has made several major gifts to the preservation cause, driven by a lifelong love of history.  A recent past president of the Kentucky Ornithological Society who has made bird-watching trips to all seven continents, Dr. Ahrens reminds us that historic landscape preservation also has tremendous environmental and recreational benefits.

In addition to his involvement with CWPT, Nau has served as the chairman of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation since 2001 and is the immediate past chairman of the Texas Historical Commission.  He serves in leadership capacities with the University of Virginia, Baylor College of Medicine and National Park Foundation.  He is president and chief executive officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products and the number one beer distributor in Texas.

With 55,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s remaining Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism.  Since 1987, the organization has helped save more than 29,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including 1,500 acres in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  The CWPT website is located at


  • Jim Campi, (202) 367-1861 x7205
  • Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 x7231


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