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Friends of Ft. Fisher are close to Fundraising Goal

A gorgeous Pleasure Island day greeted members on Saturday, November 16 to the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Fort Fisher, Inc. at the states most popular and visited historic site and battlefield.
Following a reception hosted by the ladies from the Fort Fisher Chapter 2325, UDC, Friends Board Chair retired Brigadier General Jim Carper conducted the meeting and along with Site Manager Jim Steele and Friends Executive Director Paul Laird recapped the many successes of 2013 and ambitious plans for 2014 and 2015. Implementation of its 5-year strategic plan and continued fundraising in preparation for the 150th Anniversary observance of the Battle of Fort Fisher scheduled for January 2015 were discussed as was its impact of bringing thousands of visitors to the island in the off-season were discussed.
Executive Director Paul Laird announced another milestone in the Friends “Telling Their Story” Campaign to provide needed capital improvements to the historic site in time for the 150th anniversary program. The first milestone of raising funds for fabricating a replica of the iconic Armstrong Cannon placed as an educational exhibit was achieved in June. Laird announced that with assistance from local legislators Rep. Ted Davis, Jr., Rep. Susi Hamilton, Senator Bill Rabon and Senator Thom Goolsby and support from NC Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz funding has been obtained to allow for the replacement of the fort’s defensive palisade. The total campaign goal of $250,000 for capital improvement projects is now 90 % complete. Additional funds are still required for new historical interpretive markers and trailside benches.
Noted Friends member, historian and author Dr. Chris Fonvielle was the featured speaker for the Friends Annual Meeting and provided stories of individuals with connections to the fort Fisher story that will be included in his new book Faces of Fort Fisher, 1861-1864. It will be available in the Fort Fisher Museum Shop during the Holiday Open House on Tuesday, December 10th  from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Dr. Fonvielle will be present to sign books.