State offers $2.1 million for War of 1812 projects
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 11:07

Defenders Day to get $24,000 matching funds

by Ben Boehl

    The Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society will hopefully get some extra cash for its Defenders Day budget.
    State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. and Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) Secretary Dominick Murray announced last week that the Maryland 1812 Commission  has awarded $2.1 million in matching grants that will be given to 22  Maryland non-profit and government entities to support War of 1812 bicentennial projects throughout the state.
    Harry Young, who heads the historical society’s Defenders Day celebration, announced in March that Defenders Day will be expanded into a two-day event that will move from its traditional Labor Day weekend date to the following week — Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8.
    The extra day, intended to pave the way for the 2014 celebration of the bicentennial of the 1814 Battle of North Point, will require more funding.
  

“What we are doing this year is a trial run,” Young said. “We are going to lead off the statewide celebration in 2014.”
    The Defenders Day group will receive $24,000 in matching funds from the state grant.
    However, because the grant is in the form of matching funds, the historical society must raise an equal amount of money before it can recieve the grant.
    “We have sent out our yearly request. We need $12,000 to $15,000,” Young said. “We don’t get [the funding] until we match it.”
    Other funds from the grant program will go to events throughout the state, including a series of traveling festivals across the bay region featuring tall ships, hands-on activities, re-enactments and interactive events. 
    “The War of 1812 in the Chesapeake and the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner are important chapters in our history as a state and as a nation,”  Miller said in a statement.    
    “I want to thank the grant recipient organizations for their commitment to telling this story and the important contributions of our star-spangled state.” 
    The grants will support programming, education, visitor experience and capital improvement projects that expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout Maryland.
    “We are pleased to be able to provide these grants, which will be supplemented by more than $4.7 million in matching funds to revitalize communities, spur tourism and create jobs,” Murray added. 
    Bill Pencek, executive director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, said the money will benefit all ages.
    “From assisting 200 additional school groups to visit Fort McHenry to the many Chesapeake Campaign festivals around the state, these grants will truly benefit all Marylanders,” Pencek said.