By Hillary Dickerson, Editor
Courtesy of Galena Gazette
GALENA–The Galena Foundation celebrated at its annual meeting on Wednesday, March 29 at the DeSoto House Hotel. Attendees celebrated a year of projects; honored Charlie Marsden, outgoing board president; presented the Frank L. Einsweiler Award for historic preservation to Terry Cole; and elected board officers.
The Einsweiler award is given each year to an individual who has “contributed significantly” to historic preservation efforts in the Galena area, according to Beth Baranski, Foundation vice president, who introduced Cole.
Einsweiler served as Galena mayor for four terms as well as served on the community’s planning commission for 25 years.
Baranski noted, “This year’s recipient has been involved in historic preservation in our area for many years, in many ways and many levels. His personal and professional commitment has played an important role in establishing Galena as a respected model for historic preservation.”
Baranski also cited Cole’s service as mayor and his involvement in the rebuilding of the Meeker Street pedestrian bridge, the creation of the “Galena Historic Preservation Guidebook,” designed to help residents to better understand preservation ordinances, and the installation of the Main Street light posts.
Also cited was Cole’s business, Renaissance Restoration, that was featured in a 2007 edition of Remodeling Magazine as one of the 50 companies that “exemplify best practices in business systems, customer service, workmanship and support of their employees, communities and the profession as a whole.”
Included on that list are a number of Galena properties his firm has restored as well as his relationship with the Campbell Center. He also served on The Galena Foundation board.
For Cole, receiving this award is especially meaningful due to the role Einsweiler played in his life. Cole told the crowd, “Frank was my mentor. I started my business with no experience. When I’d go to city hall, I’d go into his office and we’d talk for an hour.
“What I didn’t know was that he was priming me for his job.”
He noted that one of the interesting things with his company “is that when the phone rings, you never know if it’s about a log cabin or a governor’s mansion.”
The Foundation also honored Marsden, who is leaving after nine years of service on the board, including the last five years as president.
Ken Robb, incoming Foundation president, noted that the Foundation has achieved many things during Marsden’s tenure on the board. Legacy membership increased from 60 to 150 members; annual meeting attendance has increased and the Foundation’s assets have increased from $753,000 to $896,000.
And, during that time, the Foundation has provided funding of $519,000 for more than 30 projects including restorations of the Grant Park gazebo, train station, Turner Hall and Grant Park.
Robb stated, “Charlie, your contributions have been many and your efforts have been much appreciated.” Robb also quoted one of Marsden’s frequent comments, “No one retires from the Galena Foundation Board,” meaning that Marsden still had work as chair of the Turner Hall and Grant Park committees.
For his part, Marsden gave credit to all the people who have served on the Foundation board before and during his involvement and that having the opportunity to contribute something to the community “is a great part of my life. It’s been a really great ride.”
At the meeting’s start, Marsden reviewed some of the Foundation’s successes.
He stressed the importance of the Joe Miller Trust, which is administered through Illinois Bank & Trust Co., and said it was the greatest public/private partnership program in the community’s history.
When established in 2009, the trust had assets of $450,146 and today has assets of $550,000. In that time, Marsden said, the Foundation, through the trust has supported projects totaling $231,000, including $33,000 for Turner Hall restoration this year. Another $30,000 is dedicated from the trust for Turner Hall in 2017, part of a $200,000 multiyear commitment.
The next big Foundation project is the multi-year Grant Park restoration project. The Foundation intends to raise $200,000 to support this effort and has recently expanded the planning committee to partner with the city of Galena.
Other action taken at the annual meeting involved election of officers: Robb, president; Baranski, vice president; Jamie Loso, secretary; and David Wilmarth, treasurer.
Upcoming Foundation activities include:
•Galena Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, Tuesday, April 18 at Turner Hall. Includes a combined presentation of the city of Galena and The Galena Foundation.
•Hunter Fuerste Concert, Saturday, June 17 at Turner Hall.
•Legacy Luncheon, Sept. 15 at the Old City Cemetery.