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Marion museum launches patron program

Staff writer

Community members and former Marion residents are being asked to show their support for Marion City Museum by becoming patrons.

“A museum is a vital part of a community,” board president Peggy Blackman said. “It provides seniors with a place to reminisce, the opportunity for families to reconnect with their ancestors, an invaluable learning environment for children, and a place for visitors and newcomers to discover the unique history of the community. The patron program is our way of raising funds.”

The facility needs money to repair and renovate, digitize photos and documents, and organize material. The board plans eventually to post the museum’s contents to an Internet site for access to researchers and interested individuals. Security system and climate control systems are also needed.

For as little as $25 a year, individuals, couples, families, businesses, and others can become patrons of the museum.

For $1,000, a patron will be considered a lifetime benefactor, with names displayed prominently in the museum. Blackman said the first $1,000 donation already has been received.

Every patron will receive two newsletters per year outlining new developments, upcoming events, and a feature article on a museum display or item of local historical interest.

The museum will hold annual social events, starting with one during the 2019 Old Setters’ Day.

The board hopes to raise $2,500 to $5,000 a year through the patron program to continue a successful operation.

A table will be available at Old Settlers’ Day for people to pick up enrollment forms. They can pay fees on the spot or mail them to the museum.

Tabor College history major Kernsa Holler began work at the museum this summer to scan and digitize photos.

“Everything will be backed up on a hard drive and stored at city hall,” Blackman said.

The museum has received a $3,500 grant from Kansas Humanities Council to pay Holler and purchase archival-quality supplies such as files and boxes.

Director Theresa Mills is at the museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and is available for programs and tours.

Besides Blackman, board members are Mary Griffith, vice president; Neal Whitaker, secretary; Lois Smith, treasurer; Susan Gray; and Pauline Holub.

Blackman gave Whitaker credit for introducing the idea of a patron program and creating its policies and procedures.

“It will help us preserve our town’s past for the benefit of its future,” she said.

Last modified Sept. 6, 2018

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