Museum fundraiser shatters goal

Sponsorships net $10,000 more

Local donors gave $13,500 to the Museum of Northwest Colorado this year -- $10,000 more than the museum's annual fundraiser brought in last year.

The money, which comes to the museum from donors who sponsor a day, week or month, helps the museum stay open on the weekends and keeps admission free.

Museum Director Dan Davidson said he hoped to raise $12,000 this year, but he wasn't surprised when the fundraiser surpassed the goal.

"But we're certainly happy about that," Davidson said.

The huge increase in sponsorships was definitely welcome, Davidson said.

"We'd say it was really successful," he said.

The museum started the fundraiser a few years ago when the county hit tough financial times and the museum's budget was cut. Rather than charge admission, the museum uses sponsors to keep the facility open.

This year, 65 individuals and couples sponsored the museum.

Davidson said the money will not only help the museum stay open, but helps the museum in other ways, too.

"It makes a huge difference in staffing issues, Davidson said.

When residents donate items to the museum -- another practice that Davidson said is on the rise -- the museum catalogs the items before they go on display.

The sponsorships help the museum cover the cost of cataloging, Davidson said.

The money also helps the museum pay for its exhibits, both the permanent exhibits downstairs and the featured temporary exhibits upstairs. Chuck Stoddard, of Craig, along with his wife, Joann, was one of five donors to sponsor a month at the museum. Stoddard said the museum is an important part of Craig and Moffat County.

"We just think it's something that the community needs," Stoddard said.

Stoddard, who has lived in Northwest Colorado all his life, said it is important for the community to know its history, and the museum is a place where people get that history.

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