By Amanda Cowherd
Mason Times staff writer
The Mason 150 Sesquicentennial Anniversary Committee only has $40 in the treasury to spend on its 150 anniversary activities. Fundraising during the rest of 2014 is essential to have events and merchandise in 2015.
When the committee was formed in fall 2012, people were assigned tasks, such as managing the Mason 150 Tree Legacy Project, organizing the Mason 150 Club or creating a souvenir journal. Mason Councilmember Marlon Brown, chairperson of the committee, sent out a press release encouraging people to donate or become involved in these projects.
The Mason 150 Club is a fundraiser sponsored by the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s 2015 events will be co-branded with Mason’s anniversary. Residents can join the 150 Club by donating $150.
Douglas Klein, executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, brought in sample merchandise—such as a coffee mug, key chain and magnetic clip—that will serve as thank-you gifts for Mason 150 Club members. The gifts will be branded with the Mason 150 logo. Brown called the products Klein’s bag of swag.
Rebecca Clinton, a self-publishing author and Mason resident, decided to take on making the souvenir journal. Clinton has been editing it for two years. She compiled information from the 100 and 125th anniversary journals and Mason Area Historical Society, as well as researched on her own.
“I love the history of Mason. I drive around and know who lived here,” Clinton said.
She said she is 90 percent done with the book. She still needs to fill in the gaps, edit it and sell advertisements for inside. The books will be available in 2015.
Together, the Mason 150 Sesquicentennial Anniversary Committee will host the Cotillion Ball, tentatively planned for September 18, 2015. The ball will be one of the year’s biggest events in Mason.
“Cotillion Ball obviously is something I think is going to be our baby,” Brown said.
Klein added, “We’re going to need a load of sponsors for that.”
There is only $40 in the treasury to spend on the anniversary activities currently, so fundraising during the rest of 2014 is essential to have events and merchandise in 2015.
The committee plans to talk to local nonprofit organizations, volunteer groups and businesses to encourage them to sponsor an activity, such as creating an anniversary monument, burying a time capsule or hosting on a downtown grub crawl.
Brown wants activities going on throughout 2015, but many events will be focused around Fourth of July weekend.
“We’re going to put a lot of events around that weekend, building off of the fact that we have one of the largest Fourth of July parades in Mid-Michigan, and we also have a really good fireworks display,” Brown said.
The Mason 150 Sesquicentennial Anniversary Committee meets the second Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m.