Mark Benz honored at Lincoln Town Meeting
Editor’s note: Sally Ober of Lincoln provided this story.
LINCOLN — Lincoln Town Meeting on Monday, March 4, was extra special and festive this year as we celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Burnham Foundation. It was great to see the hall filled with townspeople wearing Mardi-gras beads; there were balloons and banners all around, and it had a general feeling of congeniality.
The highlight of the evening was presenting a special plaque of honor to Mark Benz for his tremendous contributions toward ensuring the restoration and preservation of Burnham Hall. After the flood of 1998, when the building was inundated with 5 feet of water and much was destroyed, Mark took action. He applied for FEMA grants, state grants, local grants, and sought funds from any possible source.
His particular way of making a human connection with the granting agency was extraordinary. With his enthusiasm for the project, he developed an expertise for winning awards. Even when receiving rejections, he never stopped trying. With his perseverance, he has brought in roughly $500,000 worth of funding for Burnham Hall, and it was wonderful to be able to honor him at our town meeting. The crowd was on their feet and if you see him around, be sure to thank him for his work.
One very important piece of information I forgot to mention when presenting the plaque to Mark, was that it was no ordinary plaque. What made it extra special, was that it was beautifully crafted and inscribed by our very own Rainville family at Maple Landmark. Andrew Rainville designed the 100-year celebration logo, which you can see on a banner at Burnham Hall, and this was also inscribed on the plaque for Mark.
The plaque will be hung in Burnham Hall, for all to see (location to be determined, but probably near Walter Burnham’s portrait). Please stop to look at it when you are there.
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