Friday, December 30, 2005

Fund-raising is top priority in 2006 for Mountain View Black Officers Club restoration

[Source: Tom Stoney, Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers] -- The year 2005 has been a very good one for the restoration of the Mountain View Black Officers Club at Ft. Huachuca in Sierra Vista. A lot of hard work was done this year and the project is moving forward. 2005 accomplishments include:
  • All rubble, debris and trash removed from building 66050.
  • Articles by the Associated Press on the project appeared in USA Today and numerous newspapers around the country. Our project was also featured in Parade Magazine.
  • Numerous oral presentations on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and the history of our group were presented to organizations and groups throughout the state.
  • Month long spot announcements on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and the project were aired on 3 local radio stations.
  • The environmental assessment on building 66050 was completed, as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Pat O'Brien, National Park Service based at UA, is working hard to get additional help from other UA departments such as Architect and Marketing to assist. Dr. O'Brien is committed to the project and is doing a super job.
  • Barbara Becker, Ph.D., Professor of Geography and Planning, UA, and several of her students are working to develop a General Management Plan (GMP) for the project. The GMP will include a marketing, fundraising, and operations plan. Expected completion date: end of Spring semester.
  • We marketed our project at the Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.
  • Attended monthly meetings hosted by the Sierra Vista Visitors and Convention Bureau/Community Heritage Partnership.
  • 2005 Gala Dinner/Silent Auction was a huge success. Thanks to Gala Chair Harlan Bradford and committee members Joan Way, Dave Perryman, B.J. Lucas, Tina Simpson, Charles Fortenberry, Bessie Bradford, Barbara McCraw, Berthe Simpson, and Franks Bothwell.
The process to lease 66050 to our group by the Army Corps of Engineers (Los Angeles District) has begun -- a major accomplishment. This means that the building has been saved and will not be demolished unless we fail to raise the necessary capital to rehabilitate it.

We have come a long way in about two years in working to save 66050. Our goal remains to cause the building to become a Museum and Historical Research Center on Black Men and Women Military History, 1866-1951 (Korean War). 66050 has a story to tell. It must serve as a living testament to those Black Men and Women who suffered the indignities of prejudice, discrimination, racism, and segregation, yet served their country well and with honor.

Our biggest challenge is raising the $2 million or more dollars that it will take to bring 66050 back to life. Now that the process to lease 66050 is underway, our focus in 2006 must and will be fund-raising. [Photo source: Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers.]