Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Member Spotlight

Turning our attention to our Partners in the Field, Allen and Lene Robertson of Raymond, Georgia, are members who have dedicated decades of energy, time and personal resources to the Mary Ray Memorial School, one the Trust’s 2009 Places in Peril. Allen and Lene have been the driving force behind an incredible grassroots movement to protect Mary Ray.

In 1908, Robert F. and Laulie Ray Shedden created a town in Coweta County, which they named Raymond after Laulie’s parents, Captain John D. and Mary Rawson Ray. The Sheddens also donated land to serve as the location of the town’s school. The school was built in 1909 and was named for Laulie’s mother, Mary Ray. Allen Robertson's mother was a teacher at the school before it was closed in the 1950's. This connection helped inspire the Robertsons to become active in the restoration and advocacy of Mary Ray. Their passion and story has motivated many others who have ties to the little white building nestled in the community of Raymond to work to keep it safe and create a new use for it.

The Robertsons embody the common sense approach to preservation that so often goes unrecognized- they have organized numerous fundraisers, planned many workdays, and given the Mary Ray Memorial School project the elbow grease it required. The Trust is privileged to spotlight their efforts and commitment, and we all look forward to seeing the successful result of all of their work on Mary Ray when the building is reopened as a community meeting center.

If you are interested in learning more about upcoming work days or the Trust’s Places in Peril program, email Jordan Poole or call 478-742-8155. If you would like to give to the Trust’s programs, or volunteer at Rhodes Hall, please contact Lindsay Cronk.

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