Thanks to Brownie Girl Scout Troop # 2112, Framingham's bronze Civil War soldier, is cleaned, polished, and ready for another 130 years of duty in front of the Edgell Memorial Library.
While in pursuit of a new Girl Scout Save Outdoor Sculpture!(SOS!) patch, the troop raised awareness of the need to rescue the eroding statue. The troop. guided by Assistant Troop Leader Charlene Frary, inspired parents, friends, the Framingham Tercentennial Commission, Framingham students, and Civil War reenactors to work on and donate funds for the statue's cleaning and conservation.
Their combined efforts raised the $ 16,000 needed through grants and many, many private parties.
The troop won several awards. They were the first troop in the U.S. to receive the SOS! patch. They also were recognized with awards from SOS!, including the 2000 SOS! National Award for Community Awareness in a Project.
Their efforts were so outstanding that representatives from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Museum of Fine Arts, and the Massachusetts Historical Commission, as well as SOS!sponsor Target Stores, attended the rededication ceremony on April 28.
The troop was also honored with a 2001 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation award presented by Secretary of State William Galvin at a ceremony at the Massachusetts Archives Building on May 31. The troop was nominated for the award by State Senator David Magnani. Sen. Magnani's aide, Stephanie Mercandehti, was particularly instrumental in the nomination process. Mercandehti greeted the troop and presented them with individual copies of the award certificate.
Secretary Galvin particularly singled out the Brownies and commended them on their efforts. While the audience was asked to hold its applause until the end of a slide show of the award winning projects, there was a spontaneous eruption of cheers and clapping when the Brownie's soldier project came on the screen.The recipient of the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award, former State Rep. George G. Burke, also commended the girls.
Brownies attend the Charlotte Dunning School and Dunning Principal Marilyn
Shepherd accompanied them to the ceremony. Dr. Mary Murphy, Framingham
Historical Commissioner, Dr. Joan Mickelson Lukash, Director of the
Framingham Historical Society Museum, Debbie Cleveland, an active fundraiser
for the project, and parents and wellwishers were also on hand.
The Edgell Library was built as a memorial to Framingham's many Civil War servicemen. The statue was in the front area of the library, known as "Memorial Hall." One story has it that the librarians got tired of men jokingly asking why they had to take off their hats inside the building, if the soldier didn't. Some years after the library was built, one of its benefactors donated half of the funds to buy the granite pedestal the statue now stands on and persuaded the Town of Framingham to pay for the other half. That is why the statue was moved outside and has been subject to the elements.
Thanks go to the Brownies and Frary for their inspiration, persistance, and hard work to save one of Framingham's sculptural treasures. You go girls! (...and watch out world! These girls are already something!)
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