Three Ways You Can Help CWPT Expand Our Ranks
A Message from Jim Lighthizer, CWPT President
Dear Friend and Fellow Member,
A while ago, I asked CWPT members to write or send an e-mail telling me why they support this organization, and why others should consider joining us in our important mission to save America’s endangered Civil War battlefields.
Well, as the old saying goes, the response was overwhelming.
And while I do not have space to print every comment I received, I thought that, for once, I should keep quiet and let you, our wonderful, generous and dedicated members do all the talking:
“My wife and I support CWPT because of your most effective execution of the important mission of saving in perpetuity hallowed ground. What really impresses me about CWPT, beyond these accomplishments, is that we seem to manage to be realistic and operate in the larger world effectively without compromising our passion about what we care about and think is important. Not all non-profits do that. CWPT’s letter campaigns on saving specific lands are enormously satisfying to us, as they create a direct connection between donors and the particular land involved. Indeed, they imbue us with a sense of responsibility to do our part to stave off development and save the land. The staff are both highly competent and warm and personable. Even with the greater number of attendees at tours and meetings, a sense of family is maintained.
Keep up the good work!”
— Mark and Karen Perreault, Norfolk, Virginia
CWPT National Color Bearers and Members since 1995
“When we joined the CWPT in 2005, we thought we would be sending a few donations and not much else. However, we decided to become more active after seeing what the Trust has accomplished through the dedication of its staff and members and the impressive way it has made the best use of its financial resources.”
— Don and Lauren Balyeat, Sturgis, South Dakota
CWPT Regimental Color Bearers and Members since 2005
“It is a privilege for folks like me to work with you on preservation of Civil War battlefields. What the Trust has done is wonderful.”
— William S. Davies, Jr., Columbia, South Carolina, Member since 1993
“I admire the work that you do and feel that it is an honor to help out in some small way.
In my case, I feel an obligation to honor the brave men who sacrificed everything
for what they believed in.”
— Joe Cardinale, Patterson, New York, Member since 1995
“Through CWPT, I am able to realize opportunities to preserve historic land that I could never find out about on my own. It is important to me that we honor those who came before us.
I am very appreciative of your work in making sure even the small donations I can give are fully maximized and used to conserve and protect these battle sites,
not only for our time, but for future generations.”
— Lori Cushenberry, San Juan Capistrano, California
CWPT Regimental Color Bearer and Member since 2007
“My very dear friend and I have been visiting and researching battlefields for the past fourteen years. We research the best known to the least known. Almost everywhere we go CWPT has a presence there. This organization is a gleaming example of your hard-earned money at work. I always know that my donations are well spent. I strongly encourage everyone to get out and visit the sites. Not just Gettysburg, Antietam or Bull Run. Try Fisher’s Hill, Sailor’s Creek, Cedar Mountain, New Market, Monocacy, Malvern Hill to just name a few. CWPT has done such a remarkable job at preserving and enhancing the visitor’s experience at these and many other locations. I have a tremendous amount of pride in belonging to such a terrific organization as this. Doing something that really matters.”
— Bill Boyle, Merrimack, New Hampshire, Member since 1997
“The Civil War was one of a very few defining periods in our history and it is essential to preserve that legacy, and respect the hallowed ground on which it was fought. I believe the CWPT has been the most effective organization for accomplishing not just the preservation mission, but for ensuring the ongoing education aspect of that preservation. Hence, I feel fortunate to have the means to make a lasting impact.”
— Fred Forman, Fairfax, Virginia
CWPT Division Color Bearer and Member since 2005
“The CWPT really puts their money to work when others are just talking.
We can’t rely on the government to save all of these battlefields. Waiting for others to act has resulted in the loss of many historical sites. My small part is multiplied, and with CWPT’s priority system, the most endangered lands are being saved.
Their record of accomplishment is unparalleled in historical preservation.”
— Frank Lorey, Escondido, California, Member since 2006
“Edmund Burke said, ‘All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.’
CWPT allows good people to do something and save hallowed ground from the anonymity of time and development. CWPT shows the power of networking by allowing us all to contribute what we can, when we can, so that the sum is greater than its parts.
So come on, be a part of something great!!!”
— William Rourk, Alexandria, Virginia, Member since 2004
“CWPT is a dream come true. Ever since I first visited Gettysburg as a teenager 50 years ago, I have worried about losing our heritage. I am overjoyed to find an organization tens of thousands strong who share my concerns and are ready to do something about it. On top of everything else, I have been able to learn more about the battles than I ever thought possible. Thank you all.”
— Norm Sondheimer, Avon, Connecticut
CWPT Regimental Color Bearer, Member since 2004
“CWPT does an OUTSTANDING job of multiplying its members’ donations in order to save as much Civil War hallowed ground as possible. This will allow future generations to feel the significance of that war’s role in creating the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! It provides common ground to which all visitors to those sites can relate.”
— Roger Gardner, Clarksville, Tennessee, Member since 1995
“All too often we assume that others are going to do the noble work. Sometimes we feel we can stand on the sideline and allow those with more money to take care of a worthy project. I am not wealthy and live on a very fixed income. I send little amounts when I can. I do this because donating to CWPT doubles or triples my little amount, thanks to their unending search for co-contributors. Battlefield preservation is MY responsibility; not only for now, but for the unborn generations to come. What would have happened had no one saved Gettysburg for us, or Antietam and so on? I donate because it does make a difference. Every little bit counts.”
— Bill Paris, Piedmont, South Dakota, Member since 2004
“I do not contribute to very many charities, only those that are trustworthy. The CWPT is an organization that I feel I can trust as demonstrated by your documented results. The Hallowed Ground magazine is very good at keeping members up to date on property acquisitions.”
— Neal Hooten, Elkmont, Alabama, Member since 1994
“I recently watched the ground mist rise at dawn on the Antietam battlefield.
It became even more evident to me that there is no substitute for this land. The communication from the quiet of such places cannot be duplicated in the classroom or on the pages of books. You must stand where those stood who sacrificed so much for us -- to understand. These fields of honor and courage are touchstones of memory that simply must be saved. We all know time is running out. We certainly cannot do nothing.
CWPT gives us the chance not just to do something, but to do more.”
— Kenneth Ramsey, Powell, Ohio
CWPT Brigade Color Bearer and Member since 1998
“CWPT has given me undreamed of power, through my modest contributions, to preserve in perpetuity, important, irreplaceable parts of our priceless American heritage. If I achieve nothing else in life, I know that I have done something of importance.”
— Gary Wayne, Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Member since 2005
“I am as proud to be a member of this organization as anything
I have ever been a part of in my life.”
— Douglas Pittman, Camden, Ohio, Member since 1998
Wow . . . CWPT members certainly are an eloquent group, don’t you agree? I could print a dozen more pages of similar quotes (and I thank each and every member who took the time to put their thoughts down and send them to CWPT), but it starts to get a little embarrassing after a while!
All kidding aside, you and I are dealing with something very special and very unique here, my friend. There are not many organizations out there that can combine the talent, drive, passion, dedication, generosity, efficiency and effectiveness that we have created together in the Civil War Preservation Trust.
In the end, of course, it all comes down to good people. Our Board of Trustees is second to none; your small staff is hard-working and completely dedicated and your fellow members are generous and committed.
Working together, on such a noble and important mission, we can’t lose!! Today, I am not asking you to help me save just one piece of hallowed ground . . . I am asking you to help me save ALL of the remaining endangered Civil War battlefield land by doing one – if not all – of the following things:
1. As CWPT President, I charge you with the crucial task of enlisting just ONE additional CWPT member within the next 90 days, or before the end of the year.
You can either tell a friend who SHOULD be a member and show them our website www.civilwar.org, OR, you can simply give a gift membership in their name. Imagine how much more hallowed ground we will save if we DOUBLE our membership!
2. Share your own testimonial.
By explaining why you support the organization, you can help influence others of the value of our mission.
3. Please send your most generous donation today to help fund CWPT’s year-end membership recruitment efforts.
I have never asked CWPT members to help pay for something like this, but with the tight economy, every dollar prudently focused on this effort is a wise investment in our future. Remember, each one of us started out as a new member at some point.
We are recruiting many new members through our great website, but we must still depend primarily upon mailing letters to lists that we rent from other organizations as our source for finding new members. (Update: Mr. Robert E. Lee, IV, has agreed to sign some new membership recruitment letters for us. Yes, he really IS the great-grandson of the General and grandson of W.H.F. “Rooney” Lee.)
Any generous gift you give today to help grow CWPT’s membership will only add to our effectiveness.
I need more members like you, people who are going to be dedicated to our mission, people who want to be part of an effective and efficient organization and people who like to see their donation dollar multiplied several times over to save hallowed ground that is tangible . . . they can actually walk on the result of their gifts!
Please either pass along the membership brochure (and feel free to copy or pass along this letter too, as it might encourage a prospective new member to read these current member comments) or complete the information and return it as a gift membership.
Then, please also consider making your special gift of $35, $50, $100, $200, $500 or more today to help me bulk up CWPT’s year-end membership recruitment efforts. If the economy truly is even a little better, this is the perfect time to get our message out there.
Thank you so much for all that you continue to do for the cause of battlefield preservation.
Most sincerely, your friend,
P.S. And as we head into the final quarter of one of the rockiest years in our history, I can tell you that we will need every member we already have, and every new “recruit” we can lay our hands on, to successfully complete some of the hugely important transactions we have on the horizon. Because of sensitive real estate negotiations that are on-going, I cannot yet divulge to you exactly which parcels we are targeting, but I can tell you several will be in the Richmond, Virginia, area, one is in Kentucky and at least one is in Tennessee. I am sorry to be so cryptic, but that’s the best I can tell you right now . . . thanks for understanding. And thanks again for your continued generosity.