Petersburg Cookbook to stir up funds for downtown revitalization

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Petersburg's Peggy Woodward and cookbook editor McKenzie Cantrell show off the Petersburg Cookbook they hope will raise funds for the restoration of their downtown area.

What does a cookbook have to do with revitalizing an historic area?

Barbara Woodward can answer that question. She'll do whatever it takes to raise money for and draw attention to the downtown area of Petersburg.

This year, she's trying a cookbook. Copies of "Hometown Favorites From our Petersburg Cooks" will be available July 22. The cookbook is home to 350 recipes donated by Petersburg area cooks.

"We've printed 300 and are set up to print more," said Woodward, who has been working for several years to revitalize Petersburg's historic district.

All proceeds from the cookbook go to the Petersburg Revitalization Commission, said Woodward. The money is then used to help support organizations and businesses in the historic district. In the past, fundraising efforts have supported the library and now, Woodward said the commission would like to purchase nice historic looking lighting and plantars.

"Some of the recipes have been donated in memory of loved ones," said Woodward. "We're hoping that businesses in the county will be interested in selling the books in their shops."

For now, the plan is to start selling the cookbooks for $15 at Petersburg's annual Old Glory Days celebration July 22. This annual event brings people together in the late afternoon to listen to music on the square. Food will be provided free, with a minimal charge for drinks.

"What we really want," said Woodward, "is to create a sense of community pride in Petersburg. That pride should result in an increasing revitalization of an historic area."

Woodward said that Petersburg was zoned historic almost 20 years ago but not much happened in terms of preservation since then. She and her fellow Petersburg commission members hope to change that fact.

Anyone interested in purchasing a cookbook or selling the cookbook in their stores can contact Barbara Woodward at (931) 659) 9577.