Elizabeth Toon Charities Donates $92,000 to Complete Renovation of Historic Texas Church

Old Rock Church Rededication Celebrates 125th Anniversary

DALLAS – June 9, 2010 – One of Texas’ oldest churches, St. Olaf’s Kirke, known as “Old Rock Church,” in Bosque County, will be honored with an anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 12, 2010. The event coincides with the completion of an extensive renovation project of the church and its grounds, made possible by Dallas-based  HYPERLINK “http://www.elizabethtooncharities.org” Elizabeth Toon Charities and generous donations from Bosque County residents.

Elizabeth Toon Charities, a non-profit organization benefiting children in need throughout Texas, provided a $92,000 donation to fund the renovation of the church and cemetery. Another $20,000 donation is planned to fund ongoing improvements of the church facilities and grounds. The charity was founded in honor of Elizabeth Toon who was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2006 at age 22 and was laid to rest at the Old Rock Church. Elizabeth dreamed of getting married at the Old Rock Church after visiting the historic site during a family vacation.

“We are thrilled to see this beautiful landmark restored because it is special to our organization as well as the Bosque County community,” said Jessica Gates, president and executive director, Elizabeth Toon Charities. “We hope that even more people can now experience Elizabeth’s legacy of faith, hope and love by visiting this sacred place.”
The anniversary celebration is open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include:
A tour of the historic church and cemetery
Rededication ceremony and complimentary lunch
An organ concert and recognition ceremony

“The Old Rock Church is an integral part of our local culture and history and we are thankful for the continued outpouring of support from Elizabeth Toon Charities,” said Guy Finstad, coordinator of the Old Rock Church project. “Their efforts have enabled us to restore this special church to its former glory.”

History of the Old Rock Church

St. Olaf’s Kirke was built in 1886 by Norwegian settlers. The church is built in traditional Norwegian style with the pulpit placed high in the middle of the altar.

St Olaf’s Kirke was home to Lutheran services until 1917 when the congregation had outgrown the building and larger space was needed. Since then, the church has been used for special services, most often weddings. In 1974 the church received a Texas historical marker and is now open to visitors seven days a week, from dawn until dusk.

About Elizabeth Toon Charities
Elizabeth Toon Charities is a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving children and their families in need throughout Texas. The organization was inspired by the faith, hope and love of Elizabeth Toon, who was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2006 at age 22. Since its inception in 2007, Elizabeth Toon Charities has raised $1.5 million for children and families in need. Organization sponsors include Jones Lang LaSalle, Lincoln Property Company, Sewell Automotives and Goodman Networks. To give to Elizabeth Toon Charities or learn more about the organization, visit  www.elizabethtooncharities.org or find it on Facebook.