By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE — Official presentation of the Southgate Historical Foundation’s purpose and goals at last week’s city council meeting was a confirmation two years in the making, but the group has hardly been idle while waiting.
Mayor Joseph Kuspa said the nonprofit group is ready for a busy year ahead, and will move forward as a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
“It’s an exciting time for preservation and history,” Kuspa said. “The IRS status is another tool in their efforts to create a sustainable organization dedicated to the preservation of historical documents.”
The Southgate Historical Foundation was formed in 2012 to bring together the resources and volunteer efforts of two entities, the independent Southgate Historical Society and the Southgate Historical Commission, whose membership was by mayoral appointment.
“We talked about getting them together under one organization,” Kuspa said. “In 2012 city council concurred and dissolved the commission.”
The society likewise faded, and volunteers with both organizations are on the foundation board. City Treasurer James Dallos is president, former commission head Jerry Pesci is vice president, and panelists include society veterans Dave and Kaye Warren.
The foundation serves as curator of historical documents, old newspapers and yearbooks, memorabilia and other artifacts. The pieces are stored, displayed and archived at both the historical Grahl house — the museum at 14120 Dix-Toledo Road that had been purchased by the city in the early 1970s — as well as at Southgate Veterans Memorial Library, 14680 Dix-Toledo.
A flood in the museum basement several years ago reinforced the need for safer storage of certain documents, along with providing the public with better access.
Plans for the year ahead — on the heels of the recent Daddy-Daughter Dance co-hosted with Southgate Recreation — include an Easter egg hunt on the museum grounds, a golf outing in June to support scholarships, and several community events at the museum.
For information on the foundation contact Dallos at 734-258-3012 or the museum at 734-775-0425.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])