Monday, November 20, 2017

Morning Times article on SRAC

I have lived in this Valley all of my life. It's times like this that you realize what living in a small town community means and how important it can be to you as a member. While some may complain that there is nothing to do, others come together and MAKE something worthwhile. THAT is what has happened at SRAC, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.

Thank you ALL for all you have done and are doing for our small organization with big dreams, and please consider donating to our matching grant challenge to support our new laboratory facilities! We have a lot more work ahead of us!

Thank you Morning Times and Johnny Williams for such a great article that explains who SRAC is and what are doing for generations to come. (Click the image to read!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SRAC Matching Grant Challenge Underway

Hi everybody! I just wanted to share this important announcement with you that will be in the newspaper in the coming days. Simply put, we have been challenged to come up with $10,000 in order to get another $10,000 (for a total of $20,000) in order to build our second floor space into the research, lab and storage areas that we so desperately need. Up to $5,000 of that $10,000 we need to raise can be "in-kind" donations, that being building supplies, lab furniture and equipment, and other physical items we can use to build or use in our new area. Please spread the word, and try to help us reach this goal. I appreciate all you do!

Donate to the Barbara Sowinski Matching Grant Initiative here:  

(Waverly, NY) The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies, (SRAC) is announcing a funding opportunity for their nonprofit organization, the “SRAC Barbara Sowinski Matching Grant Initiative.” The grant is an opportunity for the organization to raise $20,000 for their Center’s second floor renovations that will house a laboratory, storage and education area for the Center. Local philanthropist and SRAC member, Barbara Sowinski decided to offer this fundraising opportunity after visiting the SRAC annual event “DrumBeats Through Time” last month and realizing the importance of the work that SRAC is doing – and especially their need to be able to process and study the results of their ongoing archaeological excavation work in the area.

For the past two years, SRAC has undertaken the excavation and documentation of a Native American site that dates to around 1050 A.D. in an area that is being impacted by modern land use and construction along the Susquehanna River. In the summer and fall of 2016, individuals came together, guided by professional archaeologists and scholars, to excavate portions of a prehistoric village. Pottery specimens, broken stone implements, traces of food debris, and other snapshots of the original people of this place and space were recovered. Work is now continuing with cataloging and analyzing these materials. However, without the laboratory facilities available at the Center, the work and depth of research available has been hindered.

With the need for laboratory space in mind, Sowinski met with SRAC’s executive director, Deb Twigg recently to discuss her funding offer of a matching grant.  The stipulations of the grant is that Sowinski would personally donate $10,000 to raise a total of $20,000 for the second floor laboratory space for the Center if SRAC can match the offered $10,000 funding. However, if the Center cannot raise $10,000, she would not make a donation towards the project. Twigg explains, “Barbara’s offer of this generous amount is amazing and challenging at the same time. As many of you know we are a small organization with all volunteer staffing and work on a shoestring budget of less than $5,000. At the same time SRAC has undergone huge growth over our first decade and our next step is the laboratory facilities for our Center. We are truly amazed that we now have an opportunity to get funding for this. I can’t thank Barabara Sowinski enough for her continued support, but at the same time cannot stress enough that without the community’s help in raising the first $10,000, none of this will be possible.” Twigg also noted that ‘In-kind” donations such as lab equipment, building supplies, laboratory furniture, and storage equipment can also be used for up to $5,000 of the first $10,000 needed.

Lastly, the grant opportunity has a time limit in which it is available and is no longer available after June 1st, 2018 (6 months). As a result, the public is advised to make their donations as soon as possible to help SRAC reach their goal.  To make a donation to the SRAC Barbara Sowinski Matching Grant Imitative, visit and click the SRAC Giving Campaign or mail or hand deliver your donation to: SRAC, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY 14892. All donations are tax deductible as SRAC is a 501C3. If community members have items to donate, please call Deb Twigg at (607)727-3111 or email for more information

Sunday, October 29, 2017

SRAC Drumbeats Through Time a HUGE Success!

I wanted to share with you the report of yesterday's 14th annual DrumBeats Through Time. From all accounts, it was a memory maker on many levels. 

The event started with a huge turnout for our membership luncheon that made us add chairs to an already packed lecture hall. We were delighted to have in our attendance people who traveled as far away as the Wilsons from Pittsburgh, PA, and two NYS Archaeology chapters from the Oneonta region as well. We also had in attendance many local members and friends that have been with us since our inception and some who also have just recently discovered us. 

It was my honor to present SRAC's history from our big dreams and writing ideas around a kitchen
table one night to how far we have come since then. I had Dr. DeeAnne Wymer, Dan Caister and Richard Price all report on our most recent work from our internship program with Bloomsburg University and excavation to collections database work. We all elaborated on the fact that we are in dire need of donations to allow us to build a state of the art lab area for us to allow real scientific research to take place under our roof.

The luncheon ended with a tribute to our own Ted Keir whom we lost this year. His widow Evelyn and kids were in attendance as we revealed a large plaque that will be placed in our Woolly Mammoth exhibit of which Ted was the guiding force behind. SRAC Co-Founder Dick Cowles also spoke about Ted and his leadership at SRAC, saying it was Ted's commitment and valor that was so endearing in our organization. I agreed wholeheartedly with Dick's eloquent and perceptive tribute to our dear friend. The membership luncheon event closed with a small powerpoint that I made in Ted's honor. Tears and hugs were shared all around...

Can't see it? click this link:

Here are pictures from the rest of the days events - If you missed them, I posted them live on SRAC's Facebook page, but their quality is pretty poor. Try to attend next year to see all that we pack into one amazing day in person! For those of you that attended - thank you for spending your day with us - we really enjoy putting this annual event on for you and hope to see you again next year!