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Enlighten Me: Historic Odessa Foundation pushes to hit endowment goal

The Historic Odessa Foundation
The Historic Odessa Foundation (HOF) says the Historic Houses of Odessa it manages are seeing phenomenal growth.

The Historic Odessa Foundation (HOF) is in the midst of a $3-million-dollar endowment campaign.


The campaign is called “Independence and Perpetuity," and the foundation sys it's 75% of the way to its goal.

The foundation’s executive director Debbie Buckson says the campaign aims to assure the Historic Houses of Odessa remain open and preserved - and more.


“The endowment will allow us to grow; we’re bursting at the seams actually. This MOT (Middletown, Odessa, Townsend) area where we’re located is one of the most rapidly growing areas in the State of Delaware. So we have new audiences to serve - young families,” said Buckson,


She says while primary goal is to assure the Historic Houses of Odessa remain intact, the foundation has other plans in mind as well.


“We want to be able to continue to serve this community and expand as it grows and the endowment will help us to do that. We have beautiful properties here - 72-acres - located right here in this historic center of Odessa. One of the things that we’re looking forward to doing is creating a walking trail.”


Buckson says the interpretive trail would go through the woods along the Appoquinimink River.

Buckson says the Historic Odessa Foundation is now trying to make a final push to finish it and fulfill the late H. Rodney Sharp’s vision for the Historic Houses. Sharp was a prominent Delaware preservationist, who owned the Houses before giving them to Winterthur Museum in 1958.


Sharps' granddaughter Donnan Sharp is the chair of the HOF Board and is leading the campaign to establish the permanent endowment to preserve her grandfather's historic legacy in perpetuity.


More information about the campaign is available at the Historic Odessa Foundation's website.