Dear Valued Friend of the Westport Historical Society,
This is a pivotal time in the life of the Westport Historical Society, and we need your help. As we celebrate our 175th Anniversary as a Town, public demand for Westport history—in the form of visits to Wheeler House and our WHS Exhibits, browsing on our Website, queries to our Archives, research for genealogical and house histories, access to our Collections, participation in our Tours, attendance at our Programs, requests for Oral Histories—is soaring. To the surprise of many first-time visitors, however, none of these services, nor the behind-the-scenes conservation and curatorial work which supports it, is funded by the Town of Westport.
Instead, it is you, our loyal members, generous donors and sponsors, and tireless volunteers, working closely with our tiny, but talented, staff, who sustain us. Thanks to you, we’ve managed so far to keep pace with growing public demand for our services, but we need your renewed commitment to support as we face some daunting challenges:
- Endowment income likewise has declined
- We’re still making payments on a $170,000 mortgage that funded the Wheeler House renovation and expansion; we’d like to retire this debt before our 2012 balloon payment is due
- Our energy and operating expenses have climbed
- Our hard-working staff (1 full-time, 3 part-time) are past due for modest raises
- A number of longtime key volunteers are approaching retirement
- Many Townspeople–assuming we are Town-supported–do not realize the importance of WHS membership.
Here are six simple things that you can do that will make an immediate difference:
1) Please make a tax-deductible contribution today to this WHS 2010 Annual Giving appeal.
No gift is too small, and we’ll gladly assist with any forms you or your financial advisor may need.
Your gift may take the form of a check, corporate matching, appreciated securities or planned giving.
2) If your membership is due for renewal, consider renewing at a higher level.
3) Visit our current Maps exhibits with some friends and ask them to become members
4) Introduce them to the Gift Shop and make some purchases
5) Buy tickets for our 24th Annual Holiday House Tour and Twilight Soirée & Silent Auction (Dec. 5)
6) Add a note in the Reply Envelope indicating what type of WHS volunteer activities interest you.
Many, many thanks for all you have done and continue to do for our beloved WHS.
Very truly yours,
Dorothy E. Curran
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