Tourism Organization Also Debuts new Comic Book to Highlight its History Brand, Patriot Trails
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (August 1, 2018) -- The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) presented its largest donation to date – $55,500 – to Valley Forge National Historical Park, the VFTCB’s annual donation from funds raised through this year’s 13th annual Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run (Rev Run) held in April.
Since its inception in 2006, Rev Run has raised more than $400,000 for park infrastructure improvement projects and programming to enhance visitor experience.
During the announcement, the VFTCB also debuted a new “Patriot Tales” comic book, the first in a series, which highlights history at Valley Forge National Historical Park and promotes the VFTCB’s history brand, Patriot Trails.
A fictional story, “Washington the Spymaster” features James and Lydia, two kids who travel back in time, meet George Washington, and embark on an exciting adventure to discover the area’s rich history.
“This comic book brings our rich history to life in a fun way for a whole new generation of Montco visitors and residents,” said Edward Harris, VFTCB Chief Marketing Officer. “We wanted to find a different way of connecting with families to discover and explore the story of our historic heroes, make them come to life, and hopefully drive more traffic to the park and our other historic sites.”
The free comic book also includes a section of puzzles to educate kids on historical facts, and features the Montgomery County mascot, Monty the Fox. It will be distributed to community libraries, elementary schools, historic sites, 75 hotels, and at the VFTCB’s traveling kiosk during popular events throughout the year. A digital version can be downloaded at PatriotTrails.com.
The comic book was presented at the check presentation event to tourism and park representatives, as well as Montgomery County Commissioners Kenneth Lawrence, Jr. and Joseph Gale, Rev Run Race Director Kirsten Tallman, race partners and sponsors, and a George Washington reenactor.
“Valley Forge National Historical Park is one of the region’s most visited destinations and
we are thrilled to present our largest-ever donation of Rev Run funds to help support key programming and improvement projects here,” said Mike Bowman, VFTCB President & CEO. “The Park is truly a treasure for runners, cyclists, history enthusiasts, visitors, and residents alike.”
A special storytelling performance from Historic Philadelphia, Inc. (HPI) during the presentation drew attention to HPI’s “Once Upon a Nation” storytelling program, one of the Park projects supported by the Rev Run funds. This year’s funds will also support future maintenance needs of Sullivan’s Bridge, the new pedestrian span over the Schuylkill River, as well as Grand Parade Trail projects.
“We’re honored to receive these significant contributions, and we consider ourselves fortunate to have a committed park partner like we have in the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board,” said Valley Forge National Historical Park Superintendent Steve Sims. “As a three-time Rev Run participant, I look forward to seeing the race, and the benefits it provides to the visitor experience continue for years to come.”
Sims also emphasized the Park’s significant economic impact in the region. In 2017, the Park attracted 2.2 million visitors and contributed $46.5 million in economic output and 426 jobs to the local economy. The Rev Run included more than 1,500 participants this year.
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The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 500-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board’s award-winning website, valleyforge.org, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents.
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