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Antique church plaque returns to Baldwin

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The antique All Saints Episcopal Church plaque has returned home to Baldwin after a long journey over state lines.

Baldwin resident Maureen Herman arranged a ceremony at the church, on Harrison Avenue, last Sunday to allow for a proper welcome back celebration for the artifact.

Baldwin native Eric Finkelstein was visiting the Lakeland Antique Mall in Florida on Sept. 5 when he stumbled upon the plaque hanging from the ceiling. It reads “All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Baldwin, N.Y. Rev. C. Merton Wilson, Rector.” He took a photo and posted it in the Baldwin Inside Facebook group.

Baldwin native John Vetter then offered to buy it and donate it to the church. On Sept. 8, Herman launched a GoFundMe page with the hopes of raising the funds necessary to bring the plaque back home to Baldwin.

“It was a great success,” Herman said, thanking the contributors besides herself: Anton Murphy, Peggy Gay, Michael J. Cecere III and family, Keith Raitano, Ethel Simmons, Kathleen Herman, Laura Cody, Geraline Veltre and John Vetter.

Enough funds were raised to not only buy the wooden plaque and ship it home, but to donate the excess funds to the church. Vetter bought the plaque, packed and shipped it, and was reimbursed. The cost of the plaque was about $267 and the GoFundMe effort raised about $463.

The plaque was returned to the All Saints Episcopal Church to a grateful congregation along with a card sending happy thoughts and a donation check from the leftover funds raised via the GoFundMe: $221.03.