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WMPM Newsletter July 10, 2017

$500K Fundraising Goal Met!

AT LONG LAST!  SUCCESS!  WE DID IT!  $500K fundraising goal for Phase I attained!  Western Maine Play Museum plans to open later this year!

WMPM has had a busy spring with several fundraising events that have brought in over $9000 in just the last few months.  But even after these events, they still faced a shortfall of $7500 before the $150K matching grant from the Sandy River Charitable Foundation would be accessible.  To receive this grant,  WMPM was required to raise $350K, for a total amount of $500K to complete Phase I and open the museum.

Board president Angela McLeod approached the Sandy River Charitable Foundation to see if they could help.  In a letter to the museum board, she says:

"We were delighted to hear that Sandy River Charitable Foundation will gift us the $7,500 as direct community support in addition to the $150,000 they had originally pledged.

Although fundraising will continue with new targets in our sights (cost overruns, the courtyard, exhibits, and completing the Play Village), this is really a momentous event that we've been working hard to achieve for a VERY LONG time!  Board members should pat themselves on the back because we successfully raised $350,000 (technically more than that!) to get here and much of that was in smaller amounts.   

People thought that we couldn't do this.  Probably most people thought we couldn't do this.  I think most of us at least privately questioned whether it was possible at certain points.  The museum is going to open this year and it's going to be because of the work this board has undertaken and the small army of donors and volunteers that we've cultivated over the years.  Someday the museum will support itself and be awesome and eventually it will just seem like it was always there.  Let's not forget how many people had to stand together for so long to push this rock up a hill.  I'm just super proud of all of us."

Although achieving this momentous goal is very heartening, AT LONG LAST!  SUCCESS!  THEY DID IT!  $500K fundraising goal for Phase I attained!  Western Maine Play Museum plans to open later this year!

WMPM has had a busy spring with several fundraising events that have brought in over $9000 in just the last few months.  But even after these events, they still faced a shortfall of $7500 before the $150K matching grant from the Sandy River Charitable Foundation would be accessible.  To receive this grant,  WMPM was required to raise $350K, for a total amount of $500K to complete Phase I and open the museum.

Board president Angela McLeod approached the Sandy River Charitable Foundation to see if they could help.  In a letter to the museum board, she says:

"We were delighted to hear that Sandy River Charitable Foundation will gift us the $7,500 as direct community support in addition to the $150,000 they had originally pledged.

Although fundraising will continue with new targets in our sights (cost overruns, the courtyard, exhibits, and completing the Play Village), this is really a momentous event that we've been working hard to achieve for a VERY LONG time!  Board members should pat themselves on the back because we successfully raised $350,000 (technically more than that!) to get here and much of that was in smaller amounts.   

fundraising will continue to complete the project.  Donations are still needed to cover cost overruns, the courtyard in front, and to build exhibits.  Phase II - the carriage house/Play Village - will cost an additional $200K.  The grant writing team continues to work very hard, and spirits are high, but museum supporters are still essential.  WMPM is grateful to the many, many people who have contributed their time, money, expertise, and enthusiasm to achieve this first big goal - but the work still continues, and still needs your help.

 Western Maine Play Museum is a registered non-profit that incorporated in November 2013 and is led by a 11-member volunteer board of directors. Community members interested in supporting this project can visit the museum’s website for donation options or email them at: westernmaineplay@gmail.com. Project updates can be found at: www.facebook.com/WesternMainePlayMuseum and on their website: www.westernmaineplay.org

Sam Taylor has been our faithful Upward Bound volunteer from UMF since last summer, and we're delighted she is working with us again this year.  Here she is filling in our thermometer, in front of the museum, to indicate that we're now at $530K towards our final $700K fundrdaising goal.  The blank on the thermometer in the first photo indicated the amount of money the museum had to raise in order for the $150K grant from Sandy River Charitable Foundation to kick in - which is why the little colored balls at the top of the thermometer were so pale:  that money had been pledged to us, but we weren't able to use it until we raised $350K ourselves.  Now, however, as Sam is so happily indicating, we've managed to raise those funds, and more.  We are awaiting news on some other major grants, but we are hopeful to do at least a partial opening this year.  

Western Maine Play Museum
to Hold Mystery Dinner Fundraiser

Western Maine Play Museum is pleased to announce a highly creative and uncommon fundraising event being held this summer in Wilton – The Mystery of It All Dinner. 

The first-annual event, being held on August 19, starting at 4:00, is the idea of community member Betty Shibles of Wilton, and supported by The Wilton Group. Shibles, a long time supporter of the Play Museum project, originally encountered the idea while visiting family out of state, where it has been used as an annual fundraiser for a non-profit and typically raises thousands of dollars.

Guests for the dinner will congregate at the Play Museum in Wilton for a tour of the new renovations and future exhibit spaces at 4 p.m. Following the tour, guests will receive their Mystery Dinner Host assignments including directions to host homes where they will enjoy dinner and entertainment arranged by their host. The Hosts are all community members residing on or around Wilson Lake in Wilton. Entertainment may include music, boat rides or access to swimming at the lake. In most cases, multiple guest parties (usually couples of two) will be assigned with other guests to the same host house. The “Mystery of It All” is that guests don’t know who their host will be, what the entertainment will be, who the other guests with them will be, or what they’ll be eating (arrangements will be made in advance to overcome dietary requests/restrictions). Although there is a great deal of mystery, what is guaranteed is a wonderful time and meeting new people who are also interested in supporting the Western Maine Play Museum project. 

In an effort to reduce postage and cost of printing invitations, any member of the public who is interested in receiving an invitation and purchasing tickets for this event ($40 per person) is asked to either message the Western Maine Play Museum Board of Directors on their Facebook Page (search for Western Maine Play Museum on Facebook); or call/message Marylena Chaisson, a member of the board and organizer of the event 779-7722 with their mailing address. Space is limited, so it is recommended to contact early to ensure availability.

Many thanks to The Wilton Group and Betty Shibles for helping organize this event!


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Western Maine Play Museum is a registered non-profit that incorporated in November 2013 and is led by a 12-member volunteer board of directors. Community members interested in supporting this project can visit the museum’s website for donation options or email them at: westernmaineplay@gmail.com. Project updates can be found at: www.facebook.com/WesternMainePlayMuseum and on their website: www.westernmaineplay.org
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Western Maine Play Museum
PO Box 1161
Wilton, ME 04294
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561 Main Street
Wilton, ME  04294
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Western Maine Play Museum · PO Box 1161 · Wilton, ME 04294 · USA

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