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Bully idea for parks commemoratives

One of the Washington Nationals baseball team racing presidents will be present tomorrow at the launch ceremony for the National Park Service 100th anniversary commemorative coins to be held at noon at the Lincoln Memorial.

“Teddy” will be present for photo opportunities.

I think that is simply a bully idea.

His namesake’s image appears on the gold $5, which is one of the three denominations to go on sale. There are also a silver dollar and a clad commemorative half dollar.

The serious side of the event will be led by U.S. Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson, National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth and National Park Service Deputy Director Peggy O’Dell.

Coins will be available for sale during the one-hour event, and of course collectors will be able to purchase them online on the Mint’s website.

Surcharge income from the sale of each coin is earmarked for the National park Foundation to support projects that help preserve and protect resources under the stewardship of the National Park Service, the event announcement says.

There are 410 National Parks. Did you know that?

Most Americans know there are many parks across the country, but count me as one who did not know the exact number until plans for this special event were revealed.

It is nice to see the importance of the coins being amplified by both the National Park Service and the Mint.

In the clutter of the Internet Age, it really does help to hold these ceremonies to spotlight and explain what commemorative coins are and what proceeds will be used for.

To do this most effectively, important people need to be present as well as team mascots. A little razzmatazz works.

It is important to remember that with all commemorative coin programs, the taxpayer is protected. The Mint must cover all of its costs before the National Park Foundation gets its first surcharge dollar. Because National Parks are public property of the government, the taxpayer is doubly benefited when surcharge income helps them, which is why I have supported the concept of coins for National Parks for many years. I hope tomorrow’s event is a great success, because that would mean we will get more of them.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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