Heritage Ball Raises Money for Cathedral Repair

An annual event to preserve the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is taking on added importance this year. Hundreds of people turned out Saturday night for the Cathedral Heritage Ball at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort. The event raises money to preserve and restore the cathedral.

This year, it's especially critical. Last month, a man with a gun and lighter fluid walked into the church and began setting fires, destroying the pulpit and damaging the sanctuary. Church members and friends of the diocese say the money raised will help restore the cathedral back to its original beauty.

"Hopefully, with the endowment fund, when things are needed for the cathedral, we will not have to have fund drives," said event chairwoman Mary Clark Rechtiene. "Dinner every year will help the cost."

The Diocese of Savannah estimates repairing the smoke damage alone could cost close to a half a million dollars.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com