A benefit to preserve the past with ‘Past(a)’

Lynn Kutter/Enterprise-Leader Proceeds from a fundraising event Saturday, Dec. 2, will help pay for repairs at two historic buildings in downtown Prairie Grove, including Prairie Grove Occidental Lodge No. 436 on Mock Street, built in 1903.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- A pasta bar will take center stage Saturday, Dec. 2, for a benefit to raise money for two historic buildings in downtown Prairie Grove.

The fundraiser, Pasta(a) for Preservation, is hosted by Main Street Prairie Grove to help preserve the Prairie Grove American Legion Post 146 building at 126 S. Neal St. and the Prairie Grove Masonic Lodge building at 114 N. Mock St.

The benefit starts at 6 p.m. at Venue 479, next to the Masonic Lodge on Mock Street. However, tours of both buildings will be available for guests from 5-6 p.m. before the event. Along with pasta (including gluten-free pasta), salad and dessert, the evening will include formal presentations and a silent auction.

Kay Shreve, a member of Main Street Prairie Grove Board of Directors, said Main Street is sponsoring the event because the buildings belong to the only two nonprofit organizations in the Main Street district.

She said money raised will be used to repair the floors of both buildings. The American Legion floor is separating in three places. Members of the Masonic Lodge started work on the floors for that building and then realized the problem was much more serious than originally thought.

Those interested in the event can participate in several ways. Opportunities include signing up as a Premier Event Sponsor for $1,000 (only one is left), a Table Sponsor for $300 or a Named Sponsor for $150. Each of these come with special benefits, depending on the category.

Individual tickets are available for $25 in-person at the Locals store, 128 E. Buchanan St., or online through Eventbrite.

Rick Ault, Main Street director, said Main Street Prairie Grove is unwavering in its commitment to preserving the rich history of historic downtown Prairie Grove.

"These cherished landmarks hold a pivotal role in our community, but both necessitate extensive restoration and maintenance to continue serving generations to come," Ault said in an email. "Therefore, we are proud to declare that 100% of the proceeds from the event will be dedicated solely to the preservation efforts of these two esteemed non-profit organizations."

The Masonic Lodge building was built in 1903 as B.H. Harrison Masonic Temple and now provides meeting space for Prairie Grove's Occidental Lodge No. 436. The building is located in one of two historic districts in downtown Prairie Grove that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The American Legion building was built in 1934 by labor with the Works Progress Administration, according to a Prairie Grove Centennial History book (1888-1988). It was called the Mason-Nation Post in memory of James Edward Mason, the first Prairie Grove man killed in World War I, and Morris Edward Nations, who died in December 1941 of injuries received in the attack on Pearl Harbor, which started World War II.

  photo  Lynn Kutter/Enterprise-Leader The Prairie Grove American Legion Post building was constructed in 1934 by labor with the Works Progress Administration. Proceeds from a benefit Dec. 2 will be used to repair the floor of the building.