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Canal Trust Raising Funds, Not for Replacement Canal Boat

When The Georgetown is towed away later this fall, the canal in Georgetown will be boatless.

The Georgetown C&O Canal Boat will be towed away from Georgetown some time in November before Thanksgiving, but there is no replica replacement boat in the works. The National Park Service plans to begin a motorized launch program in Georgetown next spring.

There is no fundraising campaign to secure a new mule-drawn boat.

When a supporter of The Georgetown wooden replica boat saw a notice for a fundraiser being held by The Canal Trust in October, he told Patch he felt "snubbed."

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The Canal Trust is holding a fundraiser, Park in the Dark, on Oct. 13, which costs $150 a head.

The proceeds this year "will support improvements in the park and the expansion of educational and interpretive programs" according to the release about the event.

The Trust raises funds to assist the NPS with operations and programs throughout the 184.5 mile C&O Canal National Historical Park, which "currently receives from Congress a meager 37 cents for every dollar it needs," according to the media release.

As a fundraiser for the park, the Trust works with and defers to NPS to determine the best use for monies raised, explained Board Member Peter McKelvy.

While the Trust is open to working with specific communities that have ideas for programming or resources in their section of the Canal, McKelvy said the final say goes to NPS.

Part of the reason The Georgetown is being dismantled in the first place is a lack of resources. John Noel, a regional spokesperson for the agency, told Patch in a previous interview that the upkeep and repairs needed for the boat proved to be "cost prohibitive" given the NPS funding situation.

"We can’t raise money for a boat and put it in the park if the park staff doesn’t want it or can’t support it," McKelvy explained.

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If you are interested in the Park in the Dark event, whether or not the monies come to Georgetown, the evening features live music, drinks, silent auctions, chili, cornbread,  "a campfire, a photo booth, a Civil War encampment, and more," according to a media notice about the event.

When:  Saturday, Oct. 13 6 to 9 p.m.

Where:  Historic Great Falls Tavern, 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854

Cost:  Tickets are $150, of which $115 is tax-deductible.

Website:  www.CanalTrust.org

Contact Number:  301-714-2233

Mary Jo Veverka September 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Thank you for making your subscribers aware of the C&O Canal Trust's Park After Dark event on October 13th. Here is some additional background that has influenced the setting of priorities within the C&O Canal NHP. 1) approximately 1 million school-aged children reside within a 30-minute drive of the park; 2) the park offers opportunities to engage students in science, math, history, engineering and technology curricula, and 3) the park currently has resources to support just over 10,000 school visits. The Trust will be focusing our Park After Dark efforts on building delivery capacity to support more student groups coming into the park for field trips during the current school year. Any additional funds will be used to support the park's continued curriculum development. We recognize that the Georgetown canal boat has always been a draw for school groups, it is our belief that far more students can be supported through the Park's overall Education programs. Mary Jo Veverka, Chair, C&O Canal Trust Board of Directors
Shaun Courtney (Editor) September 27, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Thanks, Mary Jo. We're happy to let people know about what sounds like a great event! -Shaun

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