After operating as a simple grass roots neighborhood history group for the last eleven years OLHD was recently designated a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit by the IRS.
In March 2009 our group began with the invitation of several local history minded individuals to the home of Pat Kennedy to discuss the community’s local history and how to promote it. The group continued meeting regularly, and in the ensuing years grew larger and started holding community gatherings to teach about the history of the Oak Grove, Jennings Lodge, and Oatfield Ridge neighborhoods. It was determined early on to NOT attempt to have a physical museum or library, but instead to build a DIGITAL library and use its photographs, maps and scanned documents as teaching tools. With donations from community families and research by members, the library holds a wealth of knowledge about the area’s history. Several times a year programs about early families and events have been offered at meetings, we’ve participated in several community fairs, and our group has been active in efforts to preserve some of our threatened historic resources.
More recently it was decided that in an effort to do even more to live up to our mission the group should become a 501(c)(3), which would enable us to apply for grants and receive tax deductible donations. With the prospect of additional income it is hoped that we can accomplish even more history related projects in the community. In March, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 90 pages of the application, accompanied by supporting documentation, were sent to the IRS. Finally, in October, OLHD received the IRS Letter of Determination designating OLHD a 501(c)(3).
Following the designation the OLHD board has joined the Zoom “club” and has been meeting virtually to design our plans for the future. And measures are being taken to make donating to OLHD as convenient as possible by setting up an online donations mechanism.
OLHD looks forward to continuing our mission of “Investigating the Past and Enriching the Future” in the coming years. We sincerely appreciate the support we have received from the Oak Lodge community, and hope that you will join us in learning more about our history in the future.
Mike Schmeer, OLHD President