Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Remember the Museum when making your end of the year doantions

Dear Friend,

Another year has passed, and I wanted to let you know of all the good things that our museum has been able to bring to the community despite the dual challenges of a recovering economy, and rising operational costs. I’m sure you will agree that our programs have both breadth and depth, for the young and the young at heart.

Our Immigrant Exhibit Series culminated by documenting Waterford’s Irish-American community, and included a wonderful collection of oral histories gathered from over 75 of your friends and neighbors. That dovetailed nicely with our 10th Annual Concert Under the Stars and Irish Festival at the Waterford Harbor Visitor’s Center, where over 3,500 people enjoyed Hair of the Dog, Irish foods, beers, and crafts on a glorious summer day!

Do you remember when our “Canalways” was just for Waterford Elementary students? Would you believe that it has since blossomed into our Fourth Grade Education Program, serving over 500 students, teachers, and chaperones. The Pancake Breakfast, and Spring and Fall bus trips were as popular and well attended as ever, with Emily Wilson’s Day Trippers exploring and enjoying house museums and delicious luncheons. And back by popular demand, Dr. Joe Goss’ Science and Technology Lecture Series is in its second season, feeding both minds and bodies. Our First Friday Open houses featured New York State wines, and local home brews. If you haven’t joined in on the fun of the bus trips, lectures, or First Friday Open Houses, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Anyone who has embarked on a home improvement project that unexpectedly doubled in size and cost surely might be able to sympathize with our plight. Thanks to a legislative initiative from Assemblyman Canestrari and a loan from the Waterford IDA, we were able to replace the decking on our main porch and small front porch, as well as install a new security system. Ripping up the rotting boards led to a grim discovery—the pylons holding the porch and the massive columns were no longer structurally sound. This was an expense we were not prepared to take on, but one that could not be avoided. On the bright side, literally, we now have a beautifully restored pendant light befitting the Homestead, thanks to equal doses of Ted Taylor’s generosity and elbow grease.

Just how do we continue to bring fun and interesting events to you year after year with less and less in our budget? It’s because we have a dedicated and hard working staff, Board of Trustees, and volunteers who are always going above and beyond. We were forced to make the tough decision to reduce Director Brad Utter’s hours to make ends meet. But I’m afraid a bare bones budget and staff and volunteer hard work is not enough this time, we desperately need your financial commitment to keep the lights on and our doors open. For these important reasons I urge you now, in addition to your annual membership dues, to make a financial contribution to our Annual Appeal Campaign. Remember, your donation is tax deductible.

To make a donation via PayPal just visit the Museum's webpage- www.waterfordmuseum.com

Very truly yours,

Patricia Burke

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