Yuma County is one step closer to getting a children’s museum.
Grants, donations, and fundraiser proceeds have helped the Children’s Museum of Yuma County board of directors to reach their $20,000 goal to be put towards a feasibility study.
Most recently, the board was awarded $10,000 in matching grant funds from the Howard V. Moore Foundation — with a ceremony held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona — to help them reach their target. They’ve also been awarded $2,500 from the Regional Center for Border Health, $2,500 from Cocopah Indian Tribe gaming revenue given to the City of Yuma, $2,000 from the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma, and $2,900 from a spaghetti dinner fundraiser and other donations.
In regards to being one step closer to opening up an interactive and educational facility for kids, Tunie Borunda, board of directors member and past president, said, “It’s almost like you can see the little light at the end of the tunnel and the response from the community is even greater now, because they’re understanding what we’re trying to develop.”
Kevin Burge, president of the board of directors, said that they’ve put out a Request for Proposal to find a qualified vendor to conduct the feasibility study, which will look at factors such as demographics and the ability of the community to support a children’s museum as well as what’s reasonable to charge for admission. He added that the study will also look at costs of operating expenses and potential building costs.
“It sounds like the study could take anywhere from three to six months to do,” said Burge. “After the initial feasibility study, if appropriate that would lead us to more of a master-planning phase where we would do site evaluations and start flushing out our museum concept. We have lots of great ideas, but you can’t do them all. We have to look at which ones will most benefit the community and the museum’s operations. The reality is many museums rely on community support, and we don’t think this will be any different.”
In the meantime, he noted that any additional funds that they raise will be allocated for planning purposes and their participation in community engagement events, like the Back to School Rodeo and the Children’s Festival of the Arts.
“We’re excited about doing community engagement events so we can start building our brand,” said Burge.
Borunda added that they have also developed a presentation for organizations and groups interested in learning more information about the Children’s Museum of Yuma County.
Burge said that he envisions the museum being an economic driver for Yuma, something that the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation can use to help attract future businesses to the area.
“We want to get to that point where we’re able to help the community in direct and indirect ways,” he said.
People can contact Burge at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about how to donate to the board’s museum efforts. In addition to looking for one-time donors and annual givers to donate toward the museum, they’re also looking for partnerships, volunteer support, and storage space to house mobile exhibits.
Those interested in making a contribution are also able to send a check or make a deposit in person to museum account at 1st Bank Yuma, 2799 S. 4th Ave. Yuma, AZ, 85364. Checks should be made out to Children’s Museum of Yuma County, Inc., whose Employer Identification Number is 46-286334 and account number in 130014814.
People can also visit www.facebook.com/YumaAZChildrensMuseum to learn more about the board’s activities.