CW Historical Society is working on funding


 Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
 Canal Winchester Historical Society members (left to right) Larry Bower, Mike Ippoliti, and Dana Ippoliti display items available at the society’s auction to be held Aug. 10 and yard sale on Aug. 11. The pair of events will be held at Prentiss School at the corner of North High and Oak streets and the public is invited to attend and/or donate to the auction.

Go treasure hunting with the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society as it hosts a benefit auction on Aug. 10 and a Bargain Hunter’s Delight Yard Sale Aug 11 at the society’s Oak and North High streets historical complex.

Glassware, clocks, lamps, artwork, antique desks, homemade afghans, office equipment and computers are just a few of the items up for auction starting at 6 p.m. According to organizer Dana Ippoliti, whatever does not sell on Aug. 10 will be available Aug. 11 at the yard sale.

"We’ll have the leftovers for sale the next day," said Ippoliti, "which will be held on the Prentiss School grounds from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and coinciding with the downtown farmer’s market. We’ll have something for everybody. We’re also looking for donations of antiques and furniture and businesses willing to donate goods or services for the auction. All of the proceeds are for the upkeep on the complex including the schoolhouse, depot, and grain elevator, which needs some work. There are other historical societies that have buildings like ours, but most have big budgets and a lot of help from public sources, like societies in Pennsylvania."

Funds needed for society’s operations

Dana’s husband, Mike Ippoliti, president of the historical society, said running the organization’s inventory of buildings is not cheap, and funds are stretched even further now with the recent acquisition of Ed Jeffers’ Barber Museum. Rent and insurance on the second floor space housing thousands of barber-related artifacts is $700 a month. Because of limited staff, the museum is open on an appointment-only basis and admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, and $3 for students.

"Admission barely covers the cost of the electric bill, but thankfully it isn’t too much. The last bill was only $12," reported Mike. "Nothing was cataloged, so we have to do that. There is a tremendous amount of work to keep it going and we have to train people to do the tours. We’ve had some help from the national and state barber boards and the Barber Hall of Fame is still intact. The collection is amazing and the stories behind the items are amazing. The museum is a strain on the society’s budget, but we’re fortunate to have a couple of guardian angels who stepped forward to help us out until we can get ongoing funding."

Ippoliti said the historical society has to put together a plan to fund operational costs on a long-range basis, instead of relying upon income from events such as the auction, bake sales, golf outings, and tours.

"We can’t go on forever like this," emphasized Ippoliti. "We have to have something like an endowment fund and we need corporate partners for things like the museum. We need volunteers. There are a lot of things to factor in. Our budget for the grain elevator, depot, and school is close to $10,000-$12,000 a year and that doesn’t include the museum. Our operating expense income is basically from donations and events.

"We were promised a $125,000 grant through the Ohio Cultural Facilities (OCF), but there is so much red tape to go through before you get your funding because it is coming out of bond money instead of the state’s General Fund. I’ve heard of other organizations where it took them almost two years to receive funds and I almost need my own staff just to handle all of the paperwork associated with the grant."

About the auction/yard sale

As society members eagerly wait for the OCF grant to eventually materialize, they’ll continue to sponsor events like the Aug. 10 auction and Aug. 11 yard sale. All donations are tax-deductible and receipts will be furnished upon request. Usable items, including sporting goods, household items, furniture, linens, and small appliances, are needed. However, clothing or large appliances cannot be accepted. Merchandise can be picked up from a home or business by calling the Ippoliti’s at 837-8400 or Larry Bower at 833-0573. Call Carol Note, 837-0928, to make arrangements to drop off merchandise at the Prentiss School.

Actors sought for "Ghost Tour"

The Canal Winchester Area Historical Society is also looking for actors and actresses for their second annual Historic Ghost Tour on Oct. 12 and 13. Eight different stops will be featured this year with actors in period costume portraying historic figures who played a role in the early life of the village. People of all ages are needed and costumes will be furnished. Each actor will deliver a short historic tale about the location where they are stationed.

Volunteers are also needed to act as tour guides and hosts at the society’s complex. Individuals interested in participating in the Ghost Tour are invited to call Jeanette Schneider, 837-7287, or Elaine Thomas, 837-4348.

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