June 8, 2015

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Dear Fellow Preservationist,

We have a chance to save the very ground where the Third Battle of Winchester began … but we only have 120 days to do it, and we need your help.

Since I last wrote to you, the staff here at the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation has been working extremely hard to make 2015 the best year in the Foundation’s history.  But it’s people like you who have been answering the call and making our success possible. In the last 3 months we have raised over $70,000 in private donations for battlefield preservation, which we have leveraged to raise an additional $445,000 from other sources – a 6 to 1 match!

And that’s just part of the $1,897,000 we currently have secured for preservation … although almost all of those funds are property specific and must be matched by private contributions before they can be used.

Some of the parcels we’re trying to save are slated for commercial or residential development. As I write to you today, there is a five-acre tract in Clarke County, Virginia, just a few miles east of Winchester, that has reached just such a pivotal moment: the Opequon Crossing. We will either preserve the property in the next few months or it will be lost forever.

This is the last chance for us to save the very spot where the largest battle in the Shenandoah Valley began; the place where the first shots of the Third Battle of Winchester were fired.

This is an amazing opportunity, but we only have a few short months to take advantage of it. The property’s fate is in our hands – and in yours – and that fate will be decided before summer’s end.

You don’t have to look far to see what can happen when we are unable to preserve these properties. Just 600 yards from the Opequon Crossing tract, acres and acres of battlefield ground that had been unchanged for 150 years are now, as I write this letter, being scraped and dug and bulldozed to make way for a massive housing development. That land has been lost forever.

Please don’t let the Opequon tract suffer the same fate. With your help, it can be saved. Your donation today will help us save this historic site, a key part of the 347 acres that we are targeting for preservation in 2015. Ambitious goals?  You bet.  But it’s amazing what we can accomplish when we have supporters such as you.

Thank you for supporting our cause …

Keven M. Walker
Chief Executive Officer