Beginning in 2014, the grassy knoll in-between the Public Works Building and the Spruce Street Parking Lot in Morgantown will be the construction site for a statue of the founder of Morgantown. But to do something like this, the Friends of the Morgantown History Museum needed to raise some money.
The Zacquill Morgan Statue Committee hosted the first "Best Chef Cook Off" at Lakeview Resort on Thursday. Guests sampled items from restaurants in the Morgantown area. The cost was $20.
"They get to sample each chef's cuisine and believe me we are so lucky in Morgantown to have such good chefs," said Brenda Shinkovich, the Chair of the Zacquill Morgan Statue Committee. "They have really showed out here tonight and done an incredible job."
The Zacquill Morgan statue won't be the only project that will benefit from the fundraiser.
"Michael Kearns was a contemporary of Zacquill Morgan," said Tim Terman, a member of the Morgantown Longboat Project. "They were important people in building Morgantown. Back in the 1700s, late 1700s. Michael Kearns built a fort here to protect people when there were Indian raids. He had a great meal and he also had a boat yard."
The Kearns Longboat Project will split the proceeds from the cook off. They plan to honor him by building a longboat to put on display for the public.
"Incredible, incredible turn out. The chef auction is sold out and people have lots of corporate tables and supported us," said Shinkovich. "And we are so thankful that they are helping us keep Morgantown history alive."
The winners of the event receive a trophy, $250, and an engraved knife. The guests get to know they're helping the community celebrate it's history.
"Morgantown is a much more interesting place if you know some of what was here before we were here," said Terman. "Before the end of Industrial Era, going back to where it was a pioneer town, back to the 1700s, when the town was 'Morgan's Town.'"
The Longboat display will be right down the road from the statue, at Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater. Volunteer carpenters are needed to help finish the project. Call the Morgantown History Museum at (304) 319-1800 to find out how you can help.