April Shower

Annual Fundraiser to Benefit Museum Repairs 

Wewoka’s Daisy Unit Garden Club invites the public to their twenty-third annual “April Shower” fundraiser for the Seminole Nation Museum Thursday, April 18. The come-and-go reception will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the museum, located at 524 S. Wewoka Ave. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in the fun and fellowship.

Funds raised for 2019 will go toward much-needed repairs of the museum’s exterior. 

Primarily, support will go to replace the museum’s window sills and frames. Financial contributions may be made here.

The museum’s 82-year-old windows, crafted in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration, have rotted beyond repair and are in desperate need of replacement. According to Seminole Nation Museum Executive Director Richard Ellwanger, “In many areas, the wood in the windows is as soft as a sponge and is only being held together by several layers of paint.” The windows must be replaced as soon as possible to protect the museum’s interior from pests, moisture infiltration, mold, and to abate future security concerns.

The cost of milling new frames and sills and reinstalling all eight windows is $10,000. “Thankfully,” noted Ellwanger “the window sash was replaced a few years ago through a generous donation of Dennis Myers and Wewoka Window Works and we won’t have to be out the expense of replacing the glass.” 

Other repairs to be addressed include the replacement of exterior light fixtures. “Several of the museum’s outside lights are damaged, inoperative, or missing,” stated Ellwanger. “To enhance visibility at night, save extensively on utility costs, and to maintain proper security, the museum is seeking $2,500 to upgrade our exterior lighting.” Upgrades will include new ornamental fixtures and security lighting as well as the installation of LED bulbs in street lamps. Lower maintenance and long-term repair costs will also be an added benefit of the project.

Cash contributions given through the April Shower can be doubled or tripled when the museum uses them as matching money to acquire grants and other gifts. As the Seminole Nation Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit, all April Shower gifts, both cash and non-cash, are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Those wishing to make non-cash gifts are welcome to participate, as well. Each year the museum staff and the Daisy Unit Garden Club emphasize the axiom, “Small gifts make a BIG difference.” The museum asks participants to donate office supplies and operational goods so membership dollars and endowment funds can go toward exhibits and capital improvements. Items on the museum’s wish list include: postage stamps, paper towels, cleaning supplies, bathroom tissue, garbage bags, hand tools, weed killer, and copy paper.

Over the last five years, the April Shower has raised over $100,000 in cash contributions to help fund a number of important projects, including new security cameras, a kitchen remodel, new permanent exhibits, landscaping, and billboards promoting the museum and Wewoka. Non-cash gifts have amounted to over $5,500. 

2019 PROJECTS

Built in 1937 by the WPA, the museum building is a source of pride to the city of Wewoka and its people. Unfortunately, the wear of time and the Oklahoma weather has irreparably damaged the building’s window sills and frames. They are rotted and damaged beyond repair. To protect the museum’s interior from pests, moisture infiltration, mold, and to abate security concerns, the issue must be addressed as soon as possible. The cost of fabrication/installation for the 8 windows is $10,000. Thanks to a generous prior gift of Dennis Myers and Wewoka Window Works, the window sash (glass) is relatively new and will not have to undergo replacement, only minor repairs.

 

Over the last decade, in an effort to reduce blight and be an engaged civic partner, the museum has removed ten dilapidated properties in its surrounding neighborhood. We now own and maintain approximately 5 acres of land in downtown Wewoka. This land is significant to the museum’s future as without it, we cannot grow. 

We therefore are in need of securing a parcel of unkept and ill-managed property adjacent to the museum. Ownership of these lots would allow us to enlarge the Sorghum Festival, develop new programming to serve hundreds of area school students annually, and provide for future expansion. The cost of purchasing the property and clearing the title is $5,500. Our thanks to the City of Wewoka for abating the condemned property.

 

Several of the museum’s outside lights are damaged, inoperative, or missing. To enhance visibility at night, save extensively on utility costs, and to address certain security issues, the museum is seeking $2,500 to upgrade our exterior lighting. Upgrades will include new ornamental fixtures and security lighting as well as the installation of LED bulbs in street lamps. Lower maintenance and long-term repair costs will also be an added benefit of the project.  

 

  

 


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