A small ray of hope shone over Memorial City Hall Thursday when the city announced local philanthropist Steve Carlile volunteered to spearhead fundraising for the quagmire of a project. A more dedicated and effective Marshall mover and shaker is hard to find and we are pleased as punch he has agreed to lend his aid to the flailing endeavor.
At the city commission meeting, he made some excellent points about appealing to residents to support the project by being able to secure a plaque to live forever in the building. His efforts should begin later this month and Carlile said there will be various reward levels for amounts donated: Those who donate $300 will get a bronze nameplate on an auditorium seat, $1,000 for four nameplates, $5,000 for dressing room recognition plaque, $10,000 for green room recognition plaque or a rehearsal recognition, $15,000 for a grand piano recognition plaque, $25,000 for recognition and $50,000 for a balcony level plaque.
The project has been teetering on the edge of stagnation for so long, we are glad another doer has joined the effort to finish the behemoth.
This nice news comes just a month after we found out the forward thinking of the Harrison County Historical Museum saved the grant money that was the impetus for the entire project. Museum Director Janet Cook this summer went to the granting agency and applied for a second, mark that second, extension for the $150,000 that started off the latest effort to restore MCH.
It was clear to everyone paying attention that the project would not be completed by November 2017, the deadline granted in the first extension, to use the grant money, which was originally awarded in 2014 to be used by October 2016. Her forward thinking in appealing for more time saved the money that will pay for the museum's permanent veteran's exhibit to be installed at MCH.
We are glad Cook's action preserved that part of the project, even if her efforts should never have been necessary.
In September, the city said its latest projection for the project's completion is May 2018. While we aren't placing any bets on the events venue being open then, when considering the efforts of dedicated residents like Carlile and Cook, we can start to see the faint light at the end of the tunnel.