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November 2020

Dear Friends in History,

When the story of 2020 is written, it will reflect the challenges our families, our communities, and this organization have encountered because of the novel coronavirus. Few aspects of our lives have gone unaffected. Public gatherings, regular school schedules and travel are just a few things we wistfully remember, and hope can soon return to normal.

Because of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County’s partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, our operations have been restricted. All state museums, including the Somerset Historical Center, remain closed to the public until next spring. As a result, the Society has been required to cancel all on-site programming and special events in 2020, including our major annual festival, Mountain Craft Days. However, throughout the state museum closure we have been temporarily headquartered on Society property, maintaining daily operations and genealogical research, steadfastly serving our members and the community. The physical changes forced upon us have given us a unique opportunity to look within; to plan for our future, clean out a few closets and collections and anticipate the exciting year ahead.

As we reach out to you with our 2020 annual appeal, we ask that you consider the financial impact these circumstances have had on our ability to raise the needed financial support to resume regular programming and operations. Your gift to the Historical Society will ensure the continuation of our renowned educational programming that engages regional elementary and middle school students in STEM and STEAM curriculum as they learn the story of Southwestern Pennsylvania and its role in the development of our nation. Your gift will make possible workshops to preserve the heritage of our artisan crafts in coopering, tinsmithing, and fiber arts. Your gift will ensure that visitors to our facilities are greeted by knowledgeable staff to guide them through their experience in hands-on history. Your gift will make it possible for our genealogical library to provide researchers with quality and historically accurate materials to trace their familial roots to Somerset County. And your gift will enable us to maintain our beautiful buildings and grounds, where many have found solace and outdoor respite during these trying times.

The Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County is proud to partner with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to provide a rich and valuable preservation and visitor experience at the Somerset Historical Center. The Society relies on its own resources to provide staff at the Center and sponsors all events and programming. We remain strongly committed to offering a rich and varied calendar of events in 2021 for the entire family

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Society, allow me to thank you in advance for your generous donation and invite you to become an active member of our organization. All gifts to the annual campaign will qualify as a tax-deductible contribution if made by December 31, 2020. Please stay safe, remember better days are ahead and accept our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!



Pamela A. Tokar-Ickes



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The Historical & Genealogical Society of Somerset County has been designated a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization by the Internal Revenue Service and is eligible for tax deductible donations. A copy of the official registration and financial information for the Society may be obtained from the PA Department of Revenue by calling toll free within Pennsylvania 1(800)732-0999.