Old Ocracoke photoThe Ocracoke Foundation will be filming at the Community Square today (Monday, Aug. 1), from 7 to 10 a.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m. This is an open call for all islanders, native or dingbatter, to sail on in and share your love for the Square on film. The clips will be used in our upcoming “Stories From the Square” series.

If your grandma or grandpa always tell the story about that one time down at the Square, then bring your grandma and grandpa to tell that story. Bring your children to come and tell us their favorite thing about the Square (ice cream included).

If you love the Square, then bring yourselves, even just to look into the camera and say, “Please help us protect the Community Square and the future of Ocracoke Island!”

Meet our awesome film crew, recently graduated Ocracoke seniors, Cecilia Carter and Kevin Perez.   Mark your calendars, and check out ocracokefoundation.org to find out more about our efforts to protect and preserve this historical site and our maritime heritage, or to watch the first of our “Stories From the Square” series.

Update on the Community Square Revitalization Project and fundraising Campaign

As one local recently commented: “Can you imagine Ocracoke without the Community Square?”

“It’s the heart and soul of Ocracoke,” said another.

The Ocracoke Foundation is attempting to maintain the heart and soul of the community.  With this fundraising project, these are the Ocracoke Foundation’s primary goals:

(1) The OF purchased the Square to protect the five National Register of Historic Places buildings and docks from development, to preserve them for generations to come and to be sure local watermen will always have a base for their livelihood, and,

(2) use the lease income to benefit the community.

The Ocracoke Foundation (OF) purchased the Community Square in November 2013 for $1.6 million, with loans of $800,000 from a private donor and $800,000 from The Conservation Fund (TCF).

The interim loan from The Conservation Fund needs to be repaid by November of this year. The private donor is willing to forgive his loan dollar-for-dollar to match donations to repay The Conservation Fund. Therefore, if we are successful in raising $800,00 to repay TCF, our other loan will be forgiven and the Community Square will be debt-free. At that time, this valuable asset will work for our community with a significant portion of the lease income used to benefit community needs through a Community Fund.   This can be a model of how small rural communities can put their assets to work:

  • save historic properties;
  • provide space for locally owned businesses;
  • maintain waterfront access for our water-based, maritime businesses and open space for all;
  • be a focal point for tourism;
  • use the lease income as a permanent endowment for local needs.

If we are able to secure donations and pledges of $600,000 by October, there is a strong possibility that we will be able to receive a grant of $200,000 to achieve the $800,000 total.

We realize that this island of 1000+ permanent residents is not able to raise $600,000 or $800,000 without assistance from off-island friends and advocates. We will need a few major donations of $50,000 to $100,000 or more, and believe the incentive to benefit from the private donor’s matching gifts will entice such donors.  We are identifying and contacting such potential donors, especially those known to support historic preservation, environmental stewardship and maritime heritage.

And, of course, donations of any amount are needed.

Recently, Ocracoke Preservation Society (OPS) announced they will match donations up to a total of $10,000 to show their support for the revitalization and preservation of the Community Square. Just note “OPS” on the donation.

If you would like to help, please:

Help spread the word to promote ALL donations from friends, family and other contacts.  Off-island donors like to know that island folks are pitching in also. A donation form is available online: http://nebula.wsimg.com/29887108dc0174212332cee55631ab4b?AccessKeyId=E2AEA05A92953717D8F7&disposition=0&alloworigin=1.

The OF just posted the first of a series of short videos “Stories From The Square” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eYmJQMQVCU.  About 12 minutes long, it features Trudy Austin, Melissa Garrish Sharber and Mandy Garrish Jones. The creative director is Kelley Shinn, with video and editing support from recent Ocracoke School graduates Cecilia Cater and Kevin Perez.

If you are on Facebook, please LIKE The Ocracoke Foundation and SHARE with your “Friends.”

https://www.facebook.com/The-Ocracoke-Foundation-650314231789660/ for updates and news.

Please forward these links to anyone who might be interested, and ask them to share, too.

Link to the OF website http://www.ocracokefoundation.org which contains downloadable information, donation form, etc., and a link to make a donation on-line.

OF campaign 2016 brochure_Page_1


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