Glass museum launches drive to clear mortgage

WESTON, W.Va. – Match the Money – and the Museum Is Ours! was the rallying cry that launched an ambitious fund drive for the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia at the 19th annual Glass Gathering held at the museum in Weston, W. Va., on Oct. 23, 2009.

The museum holds an impressive array of American-made glass, the collection of objects from the National Marble Museum, glass making tools and an extensive library of glass industry information.

Dean Six, Executive Director of the museum, told nearly 100 attendees that “an anonymous donor has stepped forward who will match every dollar with a dollar.” The campaign goal is $45,000 which, when matched, will retire the mortgage on the museum building before a substantial balloon payment is due. The very generous donor is encouraging the museum to seek and establish new streams of support and hence will match all donations received between Oct. 25, 2009, and April 25, 2010.

A fun skit featuring five museum board members starting a whispering campaign brought home the message. Dean Six, in his best “school teacher” voice, asked what all the whispering was about. The whisperers opened envelopes and each held up a number and then sorted themselves out in a line showing the 4 5 0 0 0 figure.

Erseline Rumbach, Lewis County Regent of the Trans-Allegheny Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, approached the podium and announced that her organization wanted to kick off the drive with a $500 donation. Ms Rumbach explained that “the museum is in keeping with part of our goals of preserving regional history”.

Dean Six was pleased to announce later that roughly one third of the goal was raised in less than a week. All those making donations will be recognized according to the amount of the donation. A donation of at least $60 will be recognized in the museum’s magazine All About Glass. Higher levels of giving will be recognized with the donor’s name listed permanently at the museum and top level donations of $500 or more will be recognized with the donor’s name engraved on a one-of-a-kind commemorative vase by glass artist Kelsey Murphy that will become part of the permanent collection.

Since the MAG in West Virginia is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, donations are tax deductible.

The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, noon until 4 p.m. The balance of the year the museum is open daily from noon until 4 p.m. and closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. Admission is free. It is easily accessible off I-79 exit 99 onto US 33 West for two miles to Main Avenue. A left turn onto Main and the museum is on the left at 230 Main Avenue.

Begun in 1992, the museum relocated to its present location in 2007 and occupies 12,000 square feet with over 7,000 pieces of glass on permanent display. The museum is home to the National Marble Museum and The American Flint Glass Workers Union Archives. The museum holds an annual marble festival and numerous special exhibits throughout the year.

More information can be found at Questions about programs or the museum can be directed to 304-269-5006.


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