What a nice ending to Historic Preservation Month!

In a letter from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we learned that our plea for votes may not have gone unheard… well, maybe our plea and a few others. The National Trust for Historic Preservation won $200,000 in the Members Project from American Express and TakePart! And it gets even better… Because the intense competition in the Arts & Culture category ended in a tie between the two organizations, the generous people at American Express have awarded $200,000 to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, too.

For more information, read MEMBERS PROJECT ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND WINNERS TO SHARE $1.2 MILLION IN FUNDING FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS.

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s message:

Dear Friends,

After twelve long weeks and a photo finish, the winners have finally been announced in American Express’ Members Project. And we’re thrilled to announce that we won!

Voting ended on May 23rd with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy each showing 43% of the vote. After a week-long auditing of the thousands of votes cast, the official announcement came yesterday that there was indeed a tie in the “Arts and Culture” category and that both organizations would be awarded the $200,000 prize. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

It’s been tough battling with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy these last three months, since we are usually close collaborators. RTC sees unused rail corridors as literal pathways to our cultural past. By reopening these unused and often abandoned lines as public rail-trails, they’re not only re-stitching the transportation fabric of our country, they are preserving a tangible connection to our nation’s railroad heritage and improving our quality of life today. So we’re proud of our ally, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. But we’re proudest of a few other allies – our members and friends who took time out of their week to vote for us to win this generous grant from American Express. The picture in this email says it all to those who voted (as well as the many of you who attempted to vote and were thwarted): THANK YOU! We simply could not have won without the support of the folks who voted for us so faithfully. And since the voting ended in a statistical dead heat, we know that each and every vote mattered!

In a statement released yesterday, National Trust Acting President David J. Brown announced that we will use our winnings to expand our online education programs and reach new, younger and broader audiences with preservation’s message of sustainability and economic vitality. A very fitting use of winnings from an online campaign, since that medium will be critical to our efforts to introduce a new generation to historic preservation and the satisfaction that comes with working together to save places that matter. Again, thanks for your efforts on our behalf.

Gratefully, The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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