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Fundraising Effort For Historic Valley Forge Church

by Marcy Norton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge Park is 100 years old, and it's starting to show.

Supporters are kicking off a major fundraising effort aimed at restoring the historic chapel.

"It's probably one of the few churches in the country that starts every service with the National Anthem," said Jason Griggs, who chairs the chapel's restoration steering committee.

The committee is launching a 36-month campaign to raise $4.5 million to repair and maintain the century old building. $1 million of which would be earmarked for emergency repairs.

Griggs says although the century-old church is located within the national park, it is privately funded.

"We receive no support whatsoever from the National Park Service or the federal government for the upkeep of the property," he said.

Griggs says it's suffered significant water damage, and the stained glass windows, made of the same glass used at Versailles, have never been cleaned.

The committee will be soliciting business and philanthropic donations, but the public is also invited to help.

"All those folks that run through the park and drive through the park, every single day or every single weekend, a lot of folks pass by and not even give it a second thought, but we'd certainly like their support in preserving that treasure," said Griggs.

For information on how you can donate, visit the website:

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