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"Save our Salute" campaign raises nearly $32K to support July 4 event

April 12, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Maryland Symphony Orchestra Musical Director Elizabeth Schulze conducts during the 25th annual Salute to Independence at the Antietam National Battlefield. The Maryland Symphony Orchestra has raised nearly $32,000 of a $50,000 fundraising goal in the "Save our Salute" campaign to support its July 4 Salute to Independence event at Antietam National Battlefield, officials announced Tuesday.
Herald-Mail file photo

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra has raised nearly $32,000 of a $50,000 fundraising goal in the "Save our Salute" campaign to support its July 4 Salute to Independence event at Antietam National Battlefield, officials announced Tuesday.

"We are very grateful that the public and area businesses have been so generous in responding to our call for help," April Dowler, MSO's interim executive director, said in a news release about the fundraising progress.

The orchestra launched its "Save our Salute" campaign on March 23 after learning the event had lost some of its corporate financial support and finding out that its concert partner, the National Park Service, was unsure of its ability to contribute at the same level as in previous years.

Vicki Willman, MSO director of development, said orchestra officials remain optimistic the campaign will reach its $50,000 goal by the May 1 deadline.

"If everyone who has ever attended the concert would donate even just $1, it would not only help us this year but in years to come," Willman said.

The campaign update came the same day that the Washington County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to contribute $20,000 from the county's hotel-motel tax fund toward the event.

That county contribution is part of the concert funding the group anticipates each year and was not counted toward the $50,000 fundraising goal, Willman said.

Now in its 26th year, the Salute to Independence has become a traditional holiday celebration attended by an average of 35,000 people each year, according to the MSO news release. Because it is held on a national battlefield, no admission or parking fees can be charged to attendees.

Contributions to the Save our Salute campaign may be made online at www.saveoursalute.com, by phone at 301-797-4000, or mailed to or dropped off at the MSO office at 30 W. Washington St., Hagerstown, Md., 21740. The office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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