Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reservations Open for 2013 Holiday Tea

Can you believe it's already November? Time goes so quickly...before you know it, it'll be Christmas! Which reminds me, our Holiday Tea and Fashion Show is approaching quickly.

Our Annual Holiday Tea is our second-largest fundraiser of the year. We have a wonderful time visiting with our friends, members, and supporters in a festive environment. It's one of the rare opportunities Lew's fans have to visit the home where Susan grew up. This year our second partner, along with the Elston Homestead, is Lane Place, where Henry and Joanna (Elston) Lane lived. Both historic homes will be beautifully decorated for the holidays. We're so excited to share this occasion with you!

The Holiday Tea will feature live holiday music from the Wabash College T-Tones, door prizes, refreshments and tea (of course), an interactive fashion show by heathcliff, artist-created holiday wreaths for sale, and, of course, lots of holiday cheer!

Tickets are $25 per person, and reservations are required. The event runs from 3-6 p.m. on December 6, and attendees can drop in any time between those hours. For reservations, call 765-362-5769 or visit our Holiday Tea website and make reservations online via PayPal.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Making A Historic Difference - Part Two

So last week I warned you I was going to ask you for money. Well, this is it--brace yourselves.

We would really appreciate it if you donated money to our Making A Historic Difference campaign.

(That wasn't so bad, was it?)

Thanks to our many generous supporters, we currently have $230,000 secured towards our $300,000 goal. The Jeffris Foundation granted us $100,000 for interior paint restoration, with the caveat that we must double-match that amount--that is, we need to raise $200,000 on our own to match their grant. Because we are owned by the City of Crawfordsville, the city has agreed to provide $30,000 for our efforts. Many private donors have given us $1,000 or more and will be honored with an engraved brick to be placed in front of the Carriage House. Lots of smaller donations have added up.

We're getting close to reaching our goal--but the last few milestones always seem to be the hardest to reach.

If you are able to give and want to be a part of this exciting effort to restore and preserve Lew's ornate interior decorations, won't you consider donating to the Making A Historic Difference campaign?

We've done our best to make the donation process as easy and painless as possible. You can donate from this blog post using your credit card. Our secure payments are processed through PayPal.

You can also donate by calling us at 765-362-5769 and providing your credit card information over the telephone.

Board Member Jerry Spillane was instrumental in helping us have a video created so you can learn more about the campaign. If you have four minutes, join me, Director Larry Paarlberg, and Jerry for a look around the Study.

It's exciting to be so close to reaching our goal. We hope you're excited too, and that you'll be with us through the whole process of restoring the Study interior to Lew's original vision. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Introducing Our New Website

We are going to be rolling out a new website in the next day or so. Don't worry, all the same information will still be there, along with some new stuff! And you won't have to update your bookmarks; we'll still be at www.ben-hur.com. We are changing the site's appearance, but the menu structure has a similar design as the old website. You shouldn't have to update any links if you've been linking to our website. We'll be using the name page names as far as possible.

So why change things, you're probably wondering?

Over 35% of our 2013 website traffic so far has come from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; unfortunately, our old website wasn't built with a design that would respond to the various screen sizes--it just wasn't something we had to worry about back then. Our new design will adapt the display for optimal viewing across devices from iPhones to iPads to 23" computer monitors.

Here's the biggest change for you blog readers--our blog will no longer be located here at wallacestudy.blogspot.com but will be self-hosted at www.ben-hur.com/blog. If you use a feed-reader to keep up with our posts, you'll need to update your feed. To make it simple, we have a little RSS icon in the right sidebar of our blog page. If you'd prefer, you'll also be able to subscribe to our blog via email and have our entries sent straight to your inbox.

Our new site design will eventually incorporate an online gift shop and e-book sales. Our presence on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest will be better integrated with our website as well as the blog. We will continue to support online memberships and online donations, and this year for the first time Holiday Tea tickets are available to purchase by credit card on our website at www.ben-hur.com/programs/holiday-tea/.

I hope you like the new website design. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I'm always happy to receive feedback from our members, supporters, and friends. Comment here, at the new blog, or email me with any feedback.