FOREST, Va., May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomas Jefferson once wrote that Poplar Forest was "the most valuable of my possessions." Of the many majestic public reminders of Thomas Jefferson in Virginia, his private retreat has the greatest untapped potential. This past weekend, with more than $5.6 million raised toward its $6.25 million goal, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest announced the public phase of a capital campaign designed to aid the historic property's transition from its founding era, focused on the initial restoration and preservation of Jefferson's retreat, to the next era of growth.
"We have reached an exciting turning point in the life of Poplar Forest," said Jeffrey Nichols, president and CEO of Poplar Forest. "The organization has had an amazing journey in the 33 years since purchasing Thomas Jefferson's villa and land with the intent to restore it to his original design. Today, thanks to its visionary leadership the site is a distinctive attraction, welcoming more than 30,000 visitors annually. And this is just the beginning."
This announcement marks the start of the public phase of A New Path to Jefferson capital campaign. Poplar Forest has been quietly raising funds since 2014, and has raised $4.42 million of its $5 million goal in new cash gifts and pledges to help achieve immediate priorities, and almost $1.2 million toward its $1.25 million goal in new pledged planned gifts to help ensure the long term future of Jefferson's retreat. Among those gifts are four donations of over $500,000, including $632,534 from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission; over 75% of the campaign funds raised are from private sources.
More than simply a historic site, Poplar Forest is designed to be a fully immersive experience. Funds raised by the capital campaign will help the organization achieve four critical goals:
- Construction of a new access road called the Poplar Forest Parkway and continued restoration of the house and grounds.
- Offer new tours, events and programs to better tell the story of Poplar Forest and expand visitation.
- Support increased marketing efforts to inform the world of this significant historic site.
- Create a new, cash reserve fund and support continued growth of the endowment.
For more information about A New Path to Jefferson capital campaign or to make a donation, visit www.poplarforest.org/support or contact Alyson Ramsey at 434.534.8128.
Susan W. Morgan at 804.405.5685
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SOURCE Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest