The Bluegrass Heritage Museum will unveil a debt reduction campaign at a luncheon fundraiser Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The museum is trying to raise $17,500 as part of a matching grant it received in July from the Clark County Community Foundation.
“We received the matching grant from the Community Foundation in a two-year cycle. If we can raise the $17,500 this fiscal year, they will match the amount. Then, we can do the same thing the second year for a total of $35,000, so we would end up with $70,000, which would pay off the debt that has been incurred by the museum,” director Sandy Stults, said. “We asked the Community Foundation for $35,000 and they graciously gave us the matching grant for that, so we are very grateful.”
If the museum can raise more than $17,500 this year, the remainder will go toward the second year of the grant.
The current debt was incurred while finishing the first phase of the museum’s first floor before its opening in 2004, as well as another loan that was taken out to start the second phase of remodeling the 1893 building, which included installation of an elevator and work on the roof and new gutters.
Although the public announcement of the debt reduction campaign will be made Thursday, Stults said the museum has already had a fundraiser for museum members and the campaign is well under way.
“We sent a letter out to our 230 members after we got the grant in July and they have been awesome,” Stultz said. “We have received some donations from our members and Susie Shear allowed us to come out to her house for a fundraiser, so we are already halfway to our goal, which is wonderful.”
Getting rid of the current debt will allow the museum to complete needed repairs and update the building, Stultz said, as well as allow for future expansion of the display space.
“Getting rid of the loans will allow us, in a few months, to do some needed work on the building like the windows and some tuck pointing and painting of the building,”¿Stultz said. “And since we opened in 2004 we have had such a response from the community with donations of items for the museum that we are just overflowing with items. We would like to expand, but it takes money, so once we clear the debt, maybe we can expand some time. I don’t know.”
Stultz said the community has been very supportive of the museum over the years.
“The city and county have been very good to us and the community has really been supportive, and we are so appreciative to all of them,” Stultz said. “I think people realize the importance of having the museum. Our goal is to preserve this building and to preserve our history and we want the museum to be a place where people can come and visit and see the rich history of the community.”
All donations to the museum debt campaign are tax deductible and can be mailed to the museum at 217 S. Main St., Winchester, KY, or dropped off in person.
For more information on the campaign or the museum, call 754-1358.
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.