City receives early Christmas gifts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 21, 2002

In this season of giving, we can barely keep up with all of the gifts the City of Natchez and individuals committed to making it better have been blessed with this past week.

The Historic Natchez Foundation received a bounty in the middle of the week, in the form of a $75,000 grant to help restore the old Wagner Store in Church Hill. It is very likely, say foundation directors Ron and Mimi Miller, that this is the first preservation grant for Jefferson County.

Later in the week, the foundation received another gift &045; the Ritz Theater, donated by two investors who finally had a chance to buy this piece of Americana that charmed Natchezians downtown. For the deteriorating building to come into the careful hands of the foundation is just the thing the old theater needs.

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But let’s not forget the City of Natchez itself, which on Wednesday received a $100,000 grant to complete the roof work at Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center.

Portions of the roof had already been fixed, but this money, along with some other funding, will complete the work throughout the building.

And finally, the city also received a renewal of nearly $1 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund the services at Catholic Charities’ Guardian Shelter. Without that money, the shelter &045; which houses women who escape with their children from abusive homes &045; could not continue.

We know the city and other individuals are grateful for these gifts this year, and we are grateful for them as well &045; and for the people who have worked so hard to get them.