By Heartland News
ALTO PASS, IL (KFVS) - The faithful gathered at Bald Knob Cross for a tradition that dates back to 1937 although the look of the cross is much different this Easter than in years past.
The cross is in the midst of a major restoration. The cross was analyzed by structural engineers last year and already nearly $150,000 in repairs have been completed on its internal structure.
The entire framework has been stripped and sealed. The cross renovations have all been made possible through the help of donated dollars coming in from folks all over the Heartland.
So far, the restoration has come in under budget, but the final phases of the restoration are yet to be completed.
The theme of the 2010 Easter Sunrise Service was "unity". It's a topic the Cross of Peace has taught many after years of disagreements over the landmark's future and financial management.
Conflict among board members lead to a lawsuit and a court injection. That stalled progress at Bald Knob. The court order prevented anyone from making repairs or accessing funds to maintain the cross. Exposure to the elements and vandalism caused the cross to fall into a state of disrepair. On Christmas Eve 2008, an agreement was reached between parties involved in the lawsuit that dissolved the old Bald Knob Board of Directors and created a new board to move the cross into the future.
Thanks to donations, the Bald Knob Board now has $220,000 in the bank to further fund improvements to the cross, but organizers say an additional $180,000 is needed to purchase exterior panels, granite facing stones and new lighting.
If funds are available to complete the work, board members say the cross renovation could be completed by July 2010.