Christmas Day is the 300th anniversary of the last Christmas our little group of Germans celebrated in Europe before coming to America.
Living uneasily among the English, perhaps Pastor Haeger gathered the little flock who were hoping to emigrate to America for a Christmas service with other German speakers.
This would have been a special night for them, because they probably all knew that they would be facing the dangerous Atlantic crossing in the Spring, and that perhaps there would be empty chairs next Christmas around the table.
God bless all those who hold America so dear that they would risk their lives to live in freedom in the new country.
As 2013 draws to a close, the most important year in the Foundation’s history since 1956, I am thankful to you for your friendship and for making the Germanna Foundation a special place in the hearts of so many of our countrymen.
After acquiring the Fort Germanna / Enchanted Castle archaeological site this year, I think all of our hearts are beating a little bit faster over what we have accomplished together and what is in store for us on our shared journey in 2014!
In the past few years, your Foundation has brought significant recognition to the people of Germanna through our focused strategy of preserving and weaving our shared heritage into the fabric of American history.
And as special Germanna events this past year attest, we also have fun making memories while celebrating our heritage!
But 2013 has set some noble goals for us to achieve in 2014, the 300th Anniversary of the founding of Fort Germanna.
This Christmas, I’m thinking especially of a man I never met. In 1956, a German named Ernst Wilhelm Flender donated a sizable block of stock that had appreciated in value to the Germanna Foundation: it was the purchase price of Siegen Forest, the Germanna Foundation’s largest tract of the Fort Germanna settlement, and launched the Germanna Foundation into the uncharted future.
In the closing days of 2013, the Germanna Foundation is setting out on another adventure: a campaign to raise $575,200 to preserve, explore, excavate, and interpret the just-acquired Fort Germanna archaeological site.
If we fail to reach that goal, we run the risk of having the 62-acre Fort Germanna site revert to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Will you join with me in being part of the team that achieves that goal for the 300th Jubilee of Fort Germanna?
To date, we have received pledges for 43% of our goal.
The founders of the Germanna Foundation tried to purchase the Fort Germanna site in 1955.
When that opportunity was lost and the land was eventually acquired by the University of Mary Washington, the Germanna Foundation continued to remain faithful in seeking the missing piece of our families’ shared narrative of becoming Americans.
We have engaged in discussions with four successive presidents of the University of Mary Washington, and since 2010 made great progress in reaching an agreement with the University and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources that led to our acquisition of this important site.
We stepped out in faith that this might be one of the most significant events in the lives of our members.
That is why I am asking you to partner with us to meet our $575,200 goal.
Since joining the Board of Trustees in 1997, I’ve given generously of my own time and money to this organization because I know its work and goals are worthy and will have lasting value and deep meaning for future generations.
YOU are an integral part of this growing network of Germanna’s people, and your financial support will help the Germanna Foundation move to its next, higher level where it can achieve even more important goals and have even greater impact.
It’s an exciting time for the Germanna Foundation and its vision, and you’ll want to be a part of it.
Your generous donation will make an important contribution to the amazing things the Germanna Foundation will be able to accomplish.
Your financial support will ensure that our proud historic heritage and Germanna’s interrelated families will be long remembered and celebrated.
Your support will also ensure that we — today’s members of the Germanna family — will make our own positive, long-lasting impact on the culture, community and our children’s and grandchildren’s future.
This is the kind of legacy you would like to build.
This is what you’ve been waiting for!
We also need donations to keep the Germanna Visitor Center lights on (and candles lit!) and properly staffed to help visitors, researchers, and school groups connect with America’s early pioneers. We want it the Germanna Visitor Center to continue to be a “welcome home” center where everyone knows your name.
Join hands with us to help meet our $575,200 goal in this important time in our Nation’s history.
Click here to make your end-of-year gift to Germanna securely online or send a check to the Germanna Foundation, P.O. Box 279, Locust Grove, VA 22508-0279 (checks are GREAT – there are no credit card fees attached to them, so your donation goes farther!).
Thank you for your much appreciated generosity for the work of the Germanna Foundation!
May God bless you and your branch of the Germanna family during our Jubilee Year!
J. Marc Wheat
President, Germanna Foundation