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Presidential Museum plans auction - Odessa American: News

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Posted: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 12:00 am

It’s not so much Craigslist, as it’ll be more like Georgeslist and all the rest of the presidents list come Saturday, when the Presidential Museum, 4919 E. University Blvd., hosts a silent auction from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This is a new kind of fundraiser for us,” said Gail Barnes, assistant director for the Presidential Museum. “It’s a silent auction to auction off used furniture. And for the first time, we’re also inviting the public to donate good, used furniture to us.”

The silent auction will take place on the west side of the museum, by the doors of the meeting room.

Barnes said the proceeds of the auction would benefit both the museum’s short-term and long-term goals.

“We’re wanting to buy new merchandise for the gift shop, and we’re wanting to buy exhibit cases for new exhibits,” she said.

As far as long-term goals go, Barnes said, “We have to raise money through donations and fundraisers to get an endowment and stop charging for admission. I think we have opportunity to further this goal by having this silent auction.”

Even the Presidential Museum board members themselves will donate furniture of their own.

“I’m thinking of donating a couple of pieces, like a computer desk,” said Juan Alcantar, board chairman of the Presidential Museum. “The museum has a storeroom full of furniture. We thought we’d use them to help us raise money.”

Due to a lack of funds, the Presidential Museum was forced to close its doors in August 2009. However, in early 2010, local businessman John Bushman made a large financial donation to the museum to help reopen it.

Now, the museum is in the process of raising a $3 million endowment in order to allow UTPB to assume the museum’s operations and ownership. The Presidential Museum must raise the money for the endowment, because UTPB is not allowed to fund a museum with state-provided funds.

In a January 2010, UTPB president David Watts said, “It’s very intriguing, proposing an endowment that’s definitely needed. I can’t use state funds to operate a museum, but I can use non-state funds to do so.”

THE BASICS

>> What: Presidential Museum silent auction.

>> When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

>> Where: 4919 E. University Blvd.

>> To learn more about how you can donate your used furniture, call 363-7737.

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