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Fundraiser far ahead of schedule

PICKLE COMPANY DONATION - Mount Olive Area Historical Association’s Ken Dilda, third from left, accepts a $30,000 contribution from the Mount Olive Pickle Plant. From left are Mount Olive Pickle board chairman Bill Bryan, public relations director Lynn Williams, Dilda, and Society representative Willis Brown. (contributed photo)
By William Holloman
Staff Writer

Only six months into a three-year capital campaign by the Mount Olive Area Historical Society to raise $150,000 for needed historical preservation projects, $90,000 has already been raised.

Big contributions have already been received from the Mount Olive Pickle Company and Southern Bank. Another is scheduled from Kenny Moore, the CEO and founder of Highway 55 Burgers & Fries.

Now, Society spokesman Ken Dilda said the upcoming 31st annual North Carolina Pickle Festival at the end of this month will provide potential donors with another opportunity to pitch in. He said the David John Aaron Museum, which operates under direction of the Society, will be opened all day for the Saturday festival on April 29 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is located on East Main Street, one block off Center Street. Tours will be provided by historical facility volunteers, as well as detailed information about the museum and its contents.

“We are really pleased with the support we have received already,” Dilda told the Tribune. He said it is just another example of Mount Olive residents and businesses stepping up to the plate to ensure success for such worthy projects.

The fundraiser kicked off last October, and the funds will be used for the preservation, restoration, and dissemination of photographs included in the Kraft Studio Photographic Collection that was purchased several years ago. The collection is currently housed in the Society-operated museum.

“It is the largest and most complete photographic record of life in and around southern Wayne and northern Duplin Counties,” Dilda said. It details cityscape images, family portrait collections, farm scenes, civic activities, and others.

Dilda said the monies raised will be used to purchase storage materials which will limit, and in some cases halt, deterioration of the large film collection. They will also be used to purchase equipment for copying and creating permanent digital records of negatives and prints.

The funds will also be used to make the collection materials more readily available to the public. The photos on hand are currently available for purchase, but the expense is currently too high for most persons to buy. The funds will go toward making such purchases less expensive.

For more information, stop by the museum during the Pickle Festival, or contact Dilda at 919-731-2779 or Willis Brown at 919-658-4874.
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