The Rockford Area Historical Society has successfully taken the first step toward its goal of moving the current Rockford Museum to its new site in the courthouse building that was vacated by the 63rd District Court in November 2009.
Funds donated and pledged by area businesses and residents now total over $200,000, enabling the Society and the City of Rockford to enter into a lease agreement for the building. Over $100,000 is still needed to finish paying for renovations to the building and the creation of the exhibits that are planned for the new museum.
In its new location the new museum will serve the community by offering expanded hours, more parking, better accessibility, and exciting interactive exhibits that will appeal to visitors of all ages.
Additional fundraising activity will include an auction that will include online, silent and live auction events. The auction is being planned for late August or early September. The exact date will be set as soon as it can be determined when renovations will be completed to the point that the old courthouse will be ready for “visitors” This will be an exciting event. Current plans are to combine the online auction that will run for a period of time, a silent auction with items available for viewing for several days prior to a Saturday finale, and a live auction on that Saturday afternoon.
The museum auction committee needs your help. Auction items ranging from vintage furniture, household goods, cars, boats, and power lawn equipment, to electronics, appliances, airfare, and vacation rentals such as condos and cottages, are being sought. Look around—if you don’t need it, maybe we do! Businesses are encouraged to also consider donating office equipment, services, or gift cards and certificates.
Flyers with all the details will be available from area merchants soon, or you can call (616) 485-4144 any time to make donation arrangements or to get additional information.
Historical Society members and volunteers are also now giving area residents an opportunity to have a little fun while making a small cash donation in a very unusual manner. This is a true win-win situation with a little mystery through the use of “scratch-off cards.” Anyone wanting to make a small donation can scratch off a spot on a card to reveal a donation amount ranging from 50¢ to $3. For every donation, the donor will receive a certificate for free food at a Rockford area restaurant.
The free food will be in the form of a “buy one, get one free” offer or other discount worth at least $5, and possibly as much as $20 or more. Let any Historical Society member know that you are interested and they will make sure you get the opportunity to help out and enjoy one of these great local restaurants, such as Vitale’s in Rockford, Marinades Pizza, Timbers Inn, Grill One Eleven, and The Restaurant at Boulder Creek Golf Club.
Volunteers are also needed to help with the auction, at the current museum, or with the transition to the new facility. Anyone interested in helping can call Al Pratt at (616) 485-4144 or Terry Konkle at (616) 866-0530.
The Historical Society is working hard to create what is expected to be, in true Rockford tradition, a museum that will be the standard of excellence for small city museums everywhere. This is everyone’s chance to be a part of it.