Fundraiser seeks $131,000 for Mesa museum - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Fundraiser seeks $131,000 for Mesa museum

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Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2008 7:33 pm | Updated: 10:52 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Marco and Ana Alvarez brought their two kids to the Mesa Historical Museum on Saturday morning to peruse history.

The young Phoenix family said they just moved to Arizona from Minnesota and they were spending part of their day among exhibits that included a wagon used by one of the first settlers in the state.

Other exhibits at the museum at 2345 N. Horne included fragmentation grenades used in World War II, oral histories from Mesa residents and a display called "Thanks for Tuning In: The Wallace and Ladmo Show."

With the help of a new annual "History Happens!" fundraising program, visitors can expect to see a lot more soon, museum officials said.

"Supporting the museum through the annual campaign will invest in new programs and exhibitions," said Debby Elliot, the campaign's co-chairwoman.

This is the museum's first annual campaign, officials said.

So far, the program has raised an estimated $16,000 with a goal of $131,000 by the end of October.

The campaign's goal is to raise money that the museum lost when thecity cut funding over the past years, said KaiaLandon, curator of education.

"We've done a really fantastic job with making up a big piece of that money, but it's still just not quite enough," she said.

Landon said the funding will go to projects like the new "Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience" exhibit slated to open in January. It will feature uniforms, photos, and other baseball memorabilia and artifacts relating to Mesa's storied history with the Cactus League.

Nearly 30 community volunteers have helped in the effort.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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