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Funds Sought For Lewis And Clark Commemoration

State Treasurer Lydia Justice Edwards is collecting cash to preserve Idaho’s history.

Without debate, the House State Affairs Committee passed a bill Monday that would create a fund for donations given to the Governor’s Idaho Lewis and Clark Committee.

The committee needs money to prepare for the 2003 commemoration of Lewis and Clark expedition.

“The tourism industry knocked us on the head and said you better get ready,” Justice Edwards said.

The bicentennial will boost the economy by attracting tourists interested in the historic trek that passed through Idaho, she said.

“It’ll be far-reaching in creating tourism in the small hamlets of Idaho that have never had tourists before,”

Justice Edwards said. While the governor’s committee is aiming for large corporate donations, Justice Edwards is collecting pennies.

Jars and plastic bags filled with the copper coins clutter a wooden desk outside her office. Idaho’s fourth-and-fifth-graders are digging in their pockets, through the lint and candy wrappers, for pennies to fund a Sacajawea monument. The statue, designed by Boise artist A. Vincen Talbot, will be located in Lemhi County, Sacajawea’s birthplace.

“Sacajawea is the most famous woman,” Justice Edwards said. “And she was a heroine on this trip.”

Justice Edwards said getting children interested in history is crucial to its preservation.

“We must instill in our children an interest of this,” she said. “They must preserve it and love it.”

The House will debate the creation of the fund next.

, DataTimes