Digging Deep to Keep History Alive
The board and staff of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) have undertaken a three-year campaign to raise $6 million for an endowment to ensure the organization’s sustainability. The NMHFM has partnered with the Avenir Foundation and the Denver Foundation to assure the success of the campaign and to guarantee prudent stewardship and careful oversight of the endowment.
The NMHFM has been engaging the public in Leadville since 1987. It is the only federally-chartered mining museum in the U.S., but receives no regular federal, state, or local government funding.
The NMHFM is ideally located in its historically significant and authentic mining town, which also happens to be the highest incorporated city in North America, but extreme weather and seasonal fluctuations in tourism tend to result in annual decreases in revenues at the same time that utility bills for the large, 120-year-old former Leadville High School building increase exponentially.
A $6 million endowment will provide $200,000-$250,000 in income each year, reducing the impact of such seasonal financial fluctuations and ensuring the organization’s sustainability. An endowment will enable the board and staff to focus their energy on preserving the historic record of mining and developing cutting-edge exhibits and programs to educate the public about the importance of mining to their daily lives.
The Avenir Foundation has pledged to match up to $3 million in donations to the endowment during the three years of the campaign. That means the NMHFM is already essentially half-way to its fundraising goal. The Avenir pledge is not all or nothing. Once $500,000 in donations arrive, the Foundation will deposit a matching amount into the endowment fund. Avenir support will come in $500,000 increments until the $6 million goal is reached. The NMHFM will be able to draw on the interest to supplement the operating budget and increase sustainability in less than three years.
As part of the campaign, the NMHFM is offering naming rights to exhibit rooms and other spaces in and around the NMHFM, as well as engraved paving bricks that will be part of a new walkway. Naming a space or brick seen by visitors from around the world will memorialize oneself, a friend, a relative, or a colleague. Thanks to the Avenir Foundation’s generosity, naming opportunities for NMHFM spaces and bricks are being offered at half price during the three years of the campaign.
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum Working Capital Endowment Fund has been established with the Denver Foundation. The fund will be pooled with more than $800 million in assets that the Denver Foundation currently stewards, providing a cushion against market fluctuations and good growth potential. The interest earned by the fund, but not its principal, will be drawn annually to support the NMHFM.
Donations to the endowment campaign are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. As an added incentive, donations up to $750,000 annually may qualify for a 25% Colorado State Income Tax credit. Contact Robin Hall at (719) 486-1229 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for more information.
See www.mininghalloffame.org for more information about the NMHFM.
Get Firewood Permits by Nov. 15
The San Isabel National Forest – Leadville Ranger District will stop selling firewood permits for this calendar year on November 15, 2019.
Firewood permits are $10.00 per cord, with a three-cord minimum purchase and a ten cord maximum per family. Firewood cutters may pay by cash, check or credit card. The District offers two kinds of cutting programs under this permit, designated areas and roadside cutting.
The District can provide maps and directions to several designated areas, which will be open through November 30, or sooner if snow leaves the roads – which are not plowed – impassable. At the Turquoise Lake designated area, decks of wood from timber operations are stacked. Once closed, firewood cutting at Turquoise Lake will not reopen until after September 15, 2020.
Lodgepole Flats also has designated areas, but there are no decks. These will open again June 1, 2020. Roadside cutting, where dead and down trees may be removed from all roads open to motorized use, will be open through December 31, 2019. Firewood permits purchased at the Leadville Ranger District may also be used on the Salida and San Carlos Ranger Districts. Rules may differ for each district, so firewood cutters are advised to check before heading out.
For maps and information, please contact the Leadville Ranger District at: (719) 486-0749.