Frye's focus to be fund-raising

July 02, 1998|By LAURA ERNDE

Dennis E. Frye, president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, has been relieved of the day-to-day duties of managing the organization.

While his title has not changed, Frye will concentrate solely on fund-raising for the Hagerstown-based group, said members of the association's board of trustees.

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Robert Edmiston, who was part of the nine-member staff as director of real estate, has been named chief operating officer and been given the duty of managing the office.

The reorganization came in April after board Chairman Alan E. Hoeweller decided Frye spent too much time on last September's re-enactment of the battle of Antietam.


Frye could not be reached for comment.

Four APCWS board members contacted this week said Frye agreed with and encouraged the reorganization.

"This wasn't anything that was forced on him," said Susan K. Saum-Wicklein, a board member who, with Frye, co-chaired the re-enactment.

A Hagerstown native, Frye was instrumental in moving the association's headquarters to Hagerstown in May, 1996.

Hoeweller said the reorganization was needed to sustain an operation that has grown to 13,000 members.

To date, the association has helped to protect 6,117 acres of Civil War battlefield land in 12 states at a cost of nearly $15 million.

Some of that land has been donated to the National Park Service and other groups interested in preservation.

But the association is still paying for a lot of its purchases, Edmiston said.

The association has to raise about $2 million a year to meet operating expenses, he said.

"We're sort of the victim of our own success," Edmiston said. "We're not the same little bitty local, or even regional, historical society we once were."

The time consumed by the re-enactment has been a setback for fund-raising efforts, he said.

Edmiston said the organization isn't in danger of going out of business.

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