Duluth Children’s Museum $1.5 million closer to fundraising goalSince November, the drive to fund the Duluth Children’s Museum has snagged more than $1.5 million, boosting the campaign to its halfway point.
By: Alysee Shelton, Duluth News Tribune
Since November, the drive to fund the Duluth Children’s Museum has snagged more than $1.5 million, boosting the campaign to its halfway point.
Michael Garcia, president and CEO of the Duluth Children’s Museum, announced recent donations made to the “Be the Spark” capital campaign at a Monday news conference at the museum.
Garcia kicked off the event by announcing a lead gift of $1 million donated by longtime museum supporter Sarah Andersen in November 2013. That was followed by news of a private gift of $400,000 from the Joyful Women Fund.
George Goldfarb, Maurices president, presented a grant of $100,000. Maurices’ support for the campaign now stands at $125,000.
“We are especially pleased that these gifts allow us to complete a Maurices corporation grant,” Goldfarb said. “We are proud to support an organization that sparks imagination and curiosity in the children of our region and provides much- needed educational programming.”
Pam Kramer, executive director of Duluth Local Initiative Support Corp., presented a $21,000 grant.
“This is a positive investment for the Duluth community,” Kramer said. “This project is a key development in the overall livability of Lincoln Park, and enhances our entire region.”
The event closed with representatives from the Wells Fargo Leadership Foundation presenting a check for $20,000.
“We want to thank the Children’s Museum for everything they have done over the years,” said Scott Bradt, Wells Fargo Business Banking president. “We wanted to show our gratitude and give back.”
“We are very excited to receive these monetary gifts,” Garcia said. “We have a lot of great business and community leaders who are willing to step up and help out. We are hopeful that the community will help match these gifts.”
Officials will use the money to renovate their newly purchased, century-old brewery building on Helm Street between Clyde Iron Works and Interstate 35. The Children’s Museum bought the building in 2009 for $725,000.
“We are planning to expand so we can be a science museum and children’s museum for the region,” Garcia said.
An estimated $4.8 million is needed to transform it into three stories of educational enjoyment. Garcia stated in July 2013 that work can begin once at least $2.5 million is raised. The money is specifically going toward the building’s purchase, furniture and fixtures, architect fees, construction, project financing and more.
The future home of the Duluth Children’s Museum will offer 28,000 square feet, expanded hands-on activities that will support the science, technology, engineering and mathematic fields, a bubble room so visitors can blow bubbles year-round, a learning kitchen where kids can learn to cook, a performing arts stage and an urban rooftop garden.