The Children’s Museum of La Crosse has announced a $2 million Play it Forward capital campaign. 

In the first major fundraising effort since the Museum opened almost two decades ago, the Play it Forward campaign is hoping to rejuvenate the 30,000 square-foot building, as well as the exhibits and displays.

Current improvement plans include building a new $400,000 outdoor play patio on the roof; upgrading the facilities and technology; giving the exterior a ‘face-lift’ and investing a further $300,000 in new and refurbished exhibits.

With more than 75 per cent of operating costs being covered by membership fees, admissions, and gift shop sales, the rest of the Museum’s costs are covered by donations.

According to Executive Director Anne Snow, the campaign has already received several substantial gifts. More than $645,000 has been raised so far through donations, some of which has been earmarked to fund the construction of the climbing wall and the upgrades to the outside of the building, as well as the facility improvements.

“People have been very generous,” Snow said. “They have been very receptive to the museum’s future.”

Campaign launch parties will be taking place on the 20th March and the 21st March, where more details on the proposals and progress will be revealed.

Alongside the upgrades to the physical elements of the museum, the campaign is also expected to help fund new programs, summer camp scholarships, and subsidised school trips. In addition the Museum hopes to create travelling exhibits which could generate additional revenue.

There will also be an increase in the museum’s endowment, which allows access to the museum for families who would not otherwise be able to attend.

“We are looking forward to sharing the value of the hands-on learning and play opportunities offered by the Children’s Museum for our region’s children and families,” says Snow. “The generosity we have received from individuals and organisations over our 18 years has been overwhelming. Support for this campaign will allow us to offer even more, for decades to come.”

Image: The Children’s Museum of La Crosse

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