Fundraisers kick off this weekend with courthouse tours and a bake sale as the Adult Leadership Sulphur Springs Class of 2008-2009 prepare to raise money for the restoration of two vault doors located inside the Hopkins County Courthouse as their class project.
"Cakes for the Courthouse" were held today from 8 a.m. to noon in front of Alliance Bank on the downtown square.
Cakes and various treats were available for purchase, as well as a "splendid creation" donated by the Leadership Class members, according to Markeda Orwosky, secretary of the Leadership Class.
"Just know that your purchase assisted in the monumental effort of restoring the courthouse vaults," Orwosky said.
Courthouse tours will take place Saturday, Feb. 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tickets for tours of the historic courthouse are $10 and available at local banks.
Orwosky said she encourages everyone to take advantage of the tours and "learn the history of the magnificent courthouse, explore the secret passageways, and be transported back in time."
"Corporate and individual support is needed to make this dream a reality," Orwosky emphasized.
According to Orwosky, it was after the class toured the courthouse themselves that the group chose the restoration of the vault doors as their class project.
"We were all saddened by the condition of the doors," she explained. "We all unanimously agreed that this was the project for us to do."
Cost for the restoration project is estimated between $14,000 and $20,000, according to Michael van Enter, who will be leading the restoration project.
Van Enter and his team have worked in preserving more than 13 courthouses through the Texas Historical Commissions Courthouse Restoration Program and are currently working to restore vault doors located in the Marshall County Courthouse.
The Hopkins County Courthouse underwent major renovations in 2000, but according to Orwosky, the original vault located on the main floor is still sorely in need of restoration to prevent future deterioration, as is the one located on the second floor.
Joining in the effort are County Judge Cletis Millsap and County Commissioners, hoping to make the total restoration of the vault doors a reality.
The Hopkins County Courthouse is a focal point of the community, according to class member Kayla Price, who called it a backdrop to a long list of Norman Rockwell inspired gatherings such as the annual July 4th concert and fireworks display, the tailgate party honoring the 2008 State Championship Wildcats, Downtown Business Alliance movie nights, flea markets, car shows, parades and other community events.
"The courthouse is more than a monument to the past, it is a gift to the future."
Donation checks should be payable to the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Sulphur Springs Leadership Class; Vault Door Restoration, c/o Guaranty Bond Bank, 919 Gilmer Street, Sulphur Springs, TX. 75482.
For more information call Orwosky at 903-885-1586.
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