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Bayside nonprofit needs funds from state to preserve history

The Bayside Historical Society, headquartered in Fort Totten, is experiencing financial hardship because the state funding it relies on to operate is frozen in Albany. Other nonprofits that serve the community are experiencing the same problem.

The BHS preserves the history of Bayside and surrounding communities through exhibits, lectures and educational programs. The organization has restored the Officers Club at Fort Totten, watches over the historical Lawrence Cemetery, preserves archives and provides interesting and relevant cultural events for everyone.

The comprehensive educational program has been developing steadily and it is hoped the program will continue to expand in the next few years so children and adults can learn of and appreciate our past.

These are bad economic times for everyone. The organization earns income from programs, membership dues, grants and facility rents, but not enough to pay all heating and building expenses, insurance premiums and administrative costs. We have cut staff and expenses to the minimum, but we need the state funds that were promised in order to keep functioning to service the community.

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) is doing all he can to convince Gov. David Paterson and state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans) to release the necessary funds. Those funds are still frozen at this time.

Organizations like the BHS, Alley Pond Environmental Center, Queens Farm Museum, Poppenhusen Institute and Queens Botanical Garden must be adequately funded because they educate and serve us all. They are assets to our community and our city. They deserve the support of the public during these difficult times.

Henry Euler

Board of Directors Member

Bayside Historical Society

Bayside

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