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Feb. 11, 2010 Volume 31, No. 19

Society is making history

Back in October, things looked grim for the State Historical Society of Missouri. The society, housed on the east side of Ellis Library, was socked with a 25 percent reduction in state funding for the current fiscal year. To help the state appropriation stretch farther, the society began closing on Fridays and Saturdays, and society staff took a voluntary salary reduction.

They also put out a call to loyal patrons to help out with private fundraising efforts. Those efforts are paying off. The society has been able to raise more than $90,000 in private funds to support its public purpose. Beginning last Friday, the society returned to its normal operation hours: 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

That’s welcome news, but Gary Kremer, the society’s executive director, stresses that the money raised so far represents less than one-third the amount need to replace the state budget cut. He says the fundraising effort must continue if the society is to remain open six days a week, and he stresses that not all the society’s programs have been restored.