Cumberland Times-News

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July 27, 2013

Frostburg pursuing memorial amphitheater at rec complex

FROSTBURG — The Foundation for Frostburg and the Preston Memorial Fund plan to complete a Community Investment Tax Credit application through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

 The foundation is seeking the tax credit as an incentive for donations toward its overall goal of $125,000 to $150,000 to build the Bobby Preston Memorial Ampitheater and Honor Wall in the Parris N. Glendening Recreation Complex. The deadline for the foundation to apply for the CITC is Aug. 8.

The city council approved a resolution for the Preston Memorial Fund Committee to take advantage of the tax credit, which has leveraged nearly $27 million for abound 700 projects in the state.

If the tax credit is approved, donations can be made by businesses or individuals to the Foundation for Frostburg beginning Jan. 1. There is a minimum donation of $500 to be eligible for the tax credit. The credit will be for 50 percent of the donation given.

Frostburg has benefited from these tax credits, such as providing for children’s attractions at the community pool nearly seven years ago. The Foundation for Frostburg, a nonprofit organization, has also established about 15 other projects such as the Lamppost Fund, the Arts and Entertainment Fund and the Glendening Recreation Complex Fund, which goes toward the park’s maintenance and upkeep.

The ampitheater will be constructed in memory of Frostburg resident Bobby Preston, who died June 14, 2011. “He volunteered for everything,” said Barbara Armstrong, assistant treasurer of the Foundation for Frostburg. “Anytime anything was going on, he was there and he was helping.”

Preston’s family and friends went to the mayor and city council requesting to name Prichard Alley after Preston, Armstrong said. They refused the request, however, as there was no precedence for naming an alley in someone’s memory.

“I think we’re losing sight of the bigger picture here,” said Armstrong, recounting the events of the city council work session when the request was denied. “We don’t have a way to honor Bobby Preston, or anybody else in our community.”

The project originally began as an honor wall that would serve as a memorial for local groups and residents who have volunteered or donated to local causes and events.

The idea of an ampitheater was added later.

The ampitheater, which is currently being modeled after a similar structure in Moorefield, W.Va., is intended to serve a variety of community purposes. Armstrong is hopeful for events like movie nights, dance recitals and perhaps a “Shakespeare in the Park” type of event.

The foundation is accepting letters from the public in support of the construction of the ampitheater. It is requested that all letters contain intentions to donate and can be mailed to: Foundation for Frostburg/Preston Memorial Fund at P.O. Box 765, Frostburg, MD 21532. Businesses are requested to have their letters printed on stationery with their letterhead. Letters from individuals just need to have their signature. For more information, contact Armstrong at 301-689-6807 or email barmstrong@wvdsl.net. The Foundation for Frostburg can be found online at www.foundationforfrostburg.org/.

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