Spring 2020 Newsletter
Hi. It has been a while since the last newsletter. There have been quite a few changes here, and we thought it might be fun to rekindle the newsletter flame. It’s another way to keep you informed of all the goings-on here at the Mansion.
First, if I haven’t already met you, I would like to introduce myself. I am Cindy Waddick and I started at the Foundation in September of 2018. Prior to coming here, I wore a number of Executive Director hats and everywhere I have been, fundraising has been my focus along with volunteer recruitment and empowerment. I had the privilege of working disaster relief for the National Red Cross for many years all over our country and Puerto Rico. Working on-site at locations that had been hit by tornadoes (even one in this area years ago), hurricanes, floods, etc., I have seen the best in people come out of the worst situations. I have worked as an educator at various levels. Prior to moving here, I was past Executive Director of The Literacy Council in Rockford Illinois.
This past year I have focused on learning and finding new ways to share that learning. There is an amazing amount of history in these walls. We were able to form many partnerships with businesses locally, who want to work with us to preserve this history. We started different activities to draw people to the Mansion. We also implemented a data management system that will help the Foundation keep all our supporters and friends organized. Calculation of volunteer services will be right at the finger touch. Also, the software will allow us to remember the important facts about our families and friends-that means you.
So what is next? My main focus will be fundraising. We need to ensure this treasure trove is protected and sustainable. And we have a few projects in the works. We have submitted grant requests for restoring a number of our exterior windows, and bringing our parquet floors in the main hallway and dining room back to their original beauty. We also hope to update our analysis of preservation needs to continue to set priorities going forward. And then there is the wrap around porch and iconic horseshoe stairs. The price on that is more than $1 million, and it will take time to get all the needed funding together, but we are continuously working towards that goal and already have some restricted funds raised.
I also want to have the Mansion’s history reconnected with the community and the community realize that this is their history too. I want to draw people from all over to experience the wonders here.
Also new to the neighborhood is April Murphy, Administrative Assistant. April recently moved to the area from Chicago. She worked at The Danish Home of Chicago, a boutique senior retirement community on the far northwest side of Chicago steeped in Danish culture and traditions, for 14 years before joining us at the Hegeler Carus Foundation.
And yes, we cannot forget Dan, Kristin, and Tricia, who are walking encyclopedias of Mansion information and who keep the Mansion in good order for all of you to visit.
So come visit. Sit a spell in a National Historic Landmark and soak in Victorian Life