Monday , 25 September 2017

Heritage Guild Celebrates 40th Birthday, Asks for Public’s Help

chestnut_squareForty years ago this December a group of women formed The Heritage Guild of Collin County with the mission to “preserve and perpetuate the heritage of Collin County.” The women of The Heritage Guild held their first fundraiser that year, a Christmas Tour, which raised funds to help purchase the Dulaney Property, the current site of Chestnut Square Historic Village.

Over the years, The Heritage Guild helped lead the charge to create the guidelines for McKinney’s vibrant Historic District, saved the two oldest houses in McKinney from destruction and built a two acre Historic Village dedicated to the mission of preserving and “perpetuating the heritage of Collin County.”

Today, Chestnut Square Historic Village is an integral part of McKinney providing education programs such as Prairie Adventure Camps, Scout Badge Workshops and school field trips, an award winning Farmers Market, events such as the Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank-Off and Spirit of the Cowboy and facilities for families to rent for their historic moments. Over 50,000 people visit Chestnut Square annually.

Making History Relevant….

How does Chestnut Square continue to be successful when museums and historic villages around the country are reducing their hours and closing their doors? Our goal is to make history relevant to the lives of our visitors. And we do that by providing an engagement that reinforces the old-fashioned values that make McKinney such a great community, such as:

….shopping the old-fashioned way for local, home-grown products at the Farmers Market.

….cranking ice cream and eating it fresh from the freezer at the ice cream crank- Off

….watching a bride live her childhood dream to get married in a little white chapel

….making learning about our Texas heritage fun with hands-on camps, field trips, trolley tours and “spirited” Ghost Walks

We deliver these programs and maintain our buildings and grounds through donations, grants, memberships and volunteer hours. In 2013 over 500 volunteers dedicated over 9,000 hours to The Heritage Guild of Collin County, delivering a value of $203,000 in cost savings for Chestnut Square. In addition we received over $75,000 in in-kind donations and over $100,000 in grants and donations.

This Year We Need Your Help….

 In this, our 40th year, we planned a very special Holiday Tour of Homes with seven historic homes and special anniversary teas at the Dulaney House. The Holiday Tour of Homes continues to be the biggest fundraiser of the year for Chestnut Square, netting $20,000-$25,000 for The Heritage Guild of Collin County. Those funds go directly back into the Historic Village, funding utilities and insurance along with ongoing maintenance. In 2013, we spent $35,000 on utilities and insurance alone.

Unfortunately our 40th Anniversary Holiday Tour of Homes fell on the weekend that brought a historic ice storm to Collin County. Hundreds of volunteers and our historic homeowners saw thousands of hours of work ruined by the storm. While we went forward with the tour our attendance was only 20% of the average event attendance. And out net profits were even less leaving us with a shortfall of almost $15,000 toward our 2014 expenses.

We want to continue to provide the quality programming that you expect from Chestnut Square in 2014. A little bit of your help and some belt-tightening on our part will assure that can happen.

 You Can Help By….

 Making a donation to Chestnut SquareClick here to pledge your support today.

  • $35 will pay one day of insurance on the property.
  • $50 will pay one day of utilities.
  • $75 will pay for supplies for a Prairie Adventure Camp and bring history to life for 15 children.
  • $100 will pay 1% of our annual expenses to maintain our collections.
  • $200 will pay 1% of our budget to maintain our buildings and grounds.

Your donation to The Heritage Guild of Collin County is tax exempt.

Becoming a member of The Heritage Guild of Collin CountyClick hereto join today.

Members and volunteers are the heart of Chestnut Square.  Your membership helps with ongoing expenses at the Square and links you into what’s happening at the Square.  Members receive special benefits including:

  • Tickets for free tours (6)
  • Discounts at Dixie’s Store (10%)
  • Chestnut Square Newsletter (Monthly)
  • Tuition discounts for educational programs and camps (10%)
  • Facility rental discounts

Join at the Family Level ($55) before January 15, 2014 and receive your choice of:

  • A copy of “Local Flavors” the McKinney Farmers Market Cookbook
  • A Chestnut Square coffee mug

Story submitted by The Heritage Guild of Collin County

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