Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sgt. York Fundraiser

Sergeant York has long been one of my favorite films, although my friend, Dr. Michael Birdwell, tells me it has very little grounding in fact. He should know. He spent several years as the official archivist for the York papers and has been actively involved in trying to save the historic York Institute building. Now, the effort to save that structure has moved to the World Wide Web. For those who haven't been keeping up, Sgt. Alvin York was one of the most highly decorated soldiers in WWI. When he came home to Pall Mall, Tennessee, in Fentress County, York helped build the York Agricultural Institute. The building fell into disrepair over the years and was scheduled to be demolished. Instead, it was turned over to a groupl called the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation. Now, that group and the state's education department are working to restore the building. The patriotic foundation is hosting a ball to raise money for the project. It's set for July 25 in Cookeville at Southern Hills Golf Club. And officials say they hope the York Summer Ball will become an annual event. It will include an auction of donated items including antiques, art, trips and dinners. The group is also asking for donations to help save the institute. Click here to donate online.