Over 200 supporters helped make the Swingin’ Medallions concert on August 11, 2018 a huge success, according to David Land, President of the Historic Madison-Morgan Foundation (HMMF). The HMMF sponsored the fundraiser/concert in support of the ongoing restoration of the 1901 Central of Georgia
Railroad Depot in downtown Madison. The mission of HMMF is to help preserve Madison’s and Morgan County’s historic architectural and natural resources. “Our first project was the publication of Madison, A Classic Southern Town, and the restoration of the abandoned depot was a perfect fit for our second project,” said Land. “In addition to raising much-needed funds through this event, we were also able to enlighten our guests about the project through a grand display of posters, photos, documents, brochures and other materials about the history of the depot and its restoration,” added Land.
Steering Committee member Chris Lambert reported that the Hall at the Cultural Center was the perfect location for the Beach Party Blast, with a large stage for the 10 piece band, a spacious dance floor, and ample parking. “The Cultural Center staff was very supportive and a pleasure to work with,” stated Lambert.
Band members of the Swingin’ Medallions put on an electrifying performance that was fun to watch, with music covering several different periods. The highlight for their fans was their 1966 signature piece “Double Shot of My Baby’s Love” which they performed twice to great receptions. Another highlight was the announcement by the band that Ronnie and Cindy Stapp were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary that night, and the Stapps were then invited to lead off on the dance floor for a special song.
“We enjoyed reliving good times at the University of Georgia with some college friends who came from the Atlanta area as well as North Carolina,” stated Mike and Ruth Bracewell who were pleased to see so many folks come together for this fun event.
Volunteer bartenders under the direction of Steering Committee member Scott Campbell were busy all night, and guests enjoyed snacking on the Beach Picnic refreshments prepared by Ricardo’s Kouzzina.
During intermission, it was announced that an anonymous donor had pledged up to $5,000 for the depot restoration, to match up to $5,000 in donations from the dance. Donor cards were distributed to guests as they left and will be very welcome. The address for donations is HMMF, P. O Box 8, Madison, GA 30650.
Proceeds from Swingin’ Medallions concert ticket sales and donations will be applied to completing Phase 2 of the restoration, specifically outside work such as restoring the freight room doors, replacing battens on the freight room, restoring some original exterior wood, and painting the entire exterior with an historic color scheme.
Steering Committee members Emmie Smock, June Harrell and Janet Mason expressed appreciation to all those who bought tickets, volunteered, decorated, made donations, or came to dance, adding that the evening was a successful fundraiser for the depot restoration and fun for all who attended.
The City of Madison identified the Central Georgia of Depot as part of its broader plan to revitalize the West Washington Gateway, which is one of six areas in need of improvement under the Downtown Urban Redevelopment Plan, which was created in 2011. City officials, under the guidance of the Historic Madison-Morgan Foundation and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), plan to transform the Deport into a multipurpose space, serving as an environmental center and trailhead, as well as a conference, training, community and tourist center.
After the City of Madison acquired the historic depot, it was relocated just 75 feet away on North Bull Street across the railroad tracks. Smith and his crew recreated the waiting area of the depot that was torn down in the 1960s. The exterior of the depot is almost complete, with just some minor work left to do.