Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Center's One Year Anniversary!

SRAC Board Members Deb Twigg, Dick Cowles, Ted Keir, Mary Ann Taylor, and Tom Vallilee at The Valley Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting at SRAC last month.
(Board members Susan Fogel and Janet Andrus not present.)

In 2007, SRAC set out to write a new chapter in our region's history, as well as our own. After 4 years of being together and founding SRAC in order to preserve our local Native American archaeology, such as the Ellsworth Cowles collection (which all of the local museums claimed they could not keep together because of it's sheer size), our fledgling nonprofit had finally raised enough funds to buy our first location for our Center.

After looking at several locations, on December 7, 2007, we bought our building at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY.

Over the past year, we have successfully renovated 1/3 of the building, the main floor which houses our Gift Shop, Lecture Hall, and Exhibit Hall which together covers 5,000 square feet.

I know on the surface this may not seem like such a big deal but, this is what the main floor looked like in December 2007:

We literally had the place rewired by one of our members and then were challenged with building walls and putting other crumbling ones back together...later we had to add a public restroom and patch and repair the floor as well...

It is no exaggeration to state that the number of volunteer hours donated to us during the past year is in the thousands. As a result, the friendships that were made are strongly forged from working so hard together for so long. Together, we reached towards a goal that many believed we could never grasp; but together - we succeeded!

Today we are proud to say that we survived our first long hard year, and today we are proud to have our main floor that looks like this:

Our Gift Shop is manned by all volunteers and open
Tuesdays - Fridays from 1-5, and Saturdays from 11-4pm.

Our Lecture Hall seats 65 - 70 people. We rent it with or without
AV support. and we host historical lectures every month!

Our Exhibit Hall houses thousands of locally found artifacts and is open
Tuesdays - Fridays from 1-5, and Saturdays from 11-4pm.!

To sum up the past year, let me just say that I refer to it as "Stone Soup" in that the whole community put something in this pot and made something special. Amazingly, because we had so many friends who donated time, resources, furniture, cases and supplies, we renovated and built ALL of this on our main floor for under $8,000! As incredible as this seems, other expenses such as our mortgage, utilities, insurance, security, bills related to printing the SRAC Journal, and operating expenses cost much more. But we survived, and paid all of our bills as well!

Now it is time to roll up our sleeves and look forward to 2009. As exciting as it is - just because we have the main floor functional, we are far from self sufficient. We still have many expenses we will face on a monthly basis, and that does not even address further renovations that will be necessary.

While everyone who comes in our doors is awed by what has been accomplished, we are far from finished and financially able to exist without your support.

We still need your help.

We need your support to continue to provide this unique Center for our surrounding communities...We call ourselves a Center because we are more than a museum - operating 5 days a week with all volunteer staffing and already providing bus trips and school field trips an engaging presentation about our prehistory that accompanies a tour of the exhibit hall - making the group's experience more active and interesting than just looking at cases filled with artifacts.

We hope that you can see by the first year what dedication we have to the dream that began 5 years ago - and we hope that you are inspired to support us in all that we hope to accomplish in the coming years.

A simple donation of just a few dollars will be used help us continue to invest in our community's understanding and appreciation of our local history that spans thousands of years using artifacts as evidence of the cultures that lived here as well as allows us to preserve these artifacts in a way that can be used to allow the research and learning to continue.

SRAC is a 501(c)3 and as such will make your 2008 donation to us tax deductible.

Please consider putting SRAC on your Christmas list today!

You can donate now by using the button below:


Mail donations to:
Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC)
P.O Box 12, Sayre PA 18840

Co-Founders of SRAC - Ted Keir, Deb Twigg, and Dick Cowles

On behalf of all of us at SRAC - we thank you in advance for anything that you can do to help us keep our dreams alive for generations to come!

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