Philadelphia, PA, - The Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge Park has a meaningful place in the hearts of many. It is a place of worship and community for a thriving congregation of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. At the same time it is a living memorial to George Washington and the Patriots of the American Revolution. And for some, it’s simply a place of solace.
Now this sacred Chapel is in need of immediate restoration and preservation. ""Losing this treasure would be like closing the Smithsonian and the Washington Monument simultaneously. As you know, the Washington Memorial is closed because of deferred maintenance.""Jason Griggs, Washington Memorial Chapel Campaign Chairman
In response to these great needs, the leaders of The Washington Memorial Chapel have launched a campaign to raise funds to restore the building to its original glory. After a thorough architectural assessment in 2015, it was determined that the cost of repairs will total nearly $4.5 million. Under the leadership of the Campaign’s Chairman Jason Griggs, the campaign has already raised $500,000 in an initial quiet phase among close friends of the Chapel and the Washington Memorial Heritage.
The public phase was kicked off during an event that was held on June 12 at the Chapel. This phase expands the campaign’s efforts to include the entire congregation and a wider circle of friends and supporters. The goal of this phase is to raise the first $1 million to address the emergency and highest priority repairs to the Chapel.
“The Washington Memorial Chapel is a special place. What most people don’t know is that the Chapel is NOT a part of the Valley Forge National Historical Park despite being surrounded by it and therefore does not receive any financial assistance for preservation,” said Griggs. “Losing this treasure would be like closing the Smithsonian and the Washington Monument simultaneously. As you know, the Washington Memorial is closed because of deferred maintenance.”
The campaign will ultimately transition to a wider campaign that will aim to raise the remaining funds and accomplish preservation efforts for the Chapel. This longer-term strategy will include approaching foundations that have a passion for preserving historic buildings, especially ones that are related to the history of our nation and its founding leaders.
“The campaign will grow to encompass local, national, and international supporters, taking into account the close ties between the United States and France during the American Revolution and the Chapel’s continuing memory of France’s support,” added Griggs.
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