SCHC trumpets ‘fabulous year’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 20, 2010

A crowd double the size of last year’s filled the Southern Cultural Heritage Center’s auditorium Friday for the annual luncheon.

The 123 in attendance, up from 60 last year, were charmed by Vicksburg historian Gordon Cotton and funeral home director Charles Riles, who together penned the book, “Just Passing Through: Funeral Stories From Vicksburg.”

Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation Executive Director Annette Kirklin said the turnout was in line with the increased happenings at the SCHC.

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“We have had a fabulous year,” she said, “We have been able to do more workshops and events which in turn is attracting more members.”

Not only has membership been on the rise but the attendance at annual events, such as Classics in the Courtyard and the Over the River Run, has been climbing.

The classics program saw 780 people over four Fridays during October and early November.

“We had such great weather this year,” Kirklin said, “People were coming from as far away as Monroe and Jackson to come to the events.”

The Over the River Run was also a resounding success as well, with 640 participants and raising $14,000.

The funds that the SCHC receives from events, plus the budget of $220,000, go in large part to maintain the 125-year-old buildings it calls home.

Some of the money, Kirklin said, will go toward replacing the windows in the auditorium. Other improvement projects may arise in the future, and Kirklin said the center is on solid financial footing.

“The past few fiscal years we have been able to finish in the black, which is wonderful” Kirlin sad,

During the program Kirklin took the time to highlight upcoming events in December and early 2011, such as the third-annual Holly Days Arts and Crafts Show on Dec. 4. She said all the booths are already sold.

Other events include the Vicksburg High School Madrigals’ Renaissance Feast on Dec. 10-11, and the annual Saint Joseph Community Orchestra Christmas Concert on Dec. 12.

Early next year the SCHC will host several new classes and programs including the Front Porch Dancers, a dance troupe from Jackson, on Feb. 5.

The SCHC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the diverse cultural heritage of Vicksburg, the Delta and across the Southeast.