By: Sandra Thompson If you have been by the museum lately, you will have noticed a lot going on outside. Thanks to the Limestone County Commission and Hawkins Ground Works, we have taken the first step in the dream of our expansion becoming a reality. The platform has been demolished. We would have loved to have kept it and made it part of our new building design, however, it was just too far gone and was on its way to becoming a safety hazard. As we are all about preserving history, I am happy to say that the sheds covering the dock have been moved to a new home and will be preserved for future generations to use. The mission of the Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives is to develop and maintain a museum for the preservation of archives and artifacts that exemplify the achievements and memories of our armed forces veterans. We will serve as a focal point for local veterans’ events and provide information to educate and inspire future generations to pursue military careers. Over 12,000 people visit the Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives annually, making it the tourist attraction with the highest visitation in Limestone County. We are proud of the way we continue to honor our veterans for the sacrifices they have made, and inspire younger generations by making history come alive. The new education facility at the Alabama Veterans Museum will draw visitors to Athens, which in turn will benefit the entire community. In the new museum, we will be able to give students the opportunity for hands-on experiences using technology that mimics what is used by the U. S. military. Research indicates that students who physically experience scientific concepts understand them more deeply and score better on science tests. Students who grow up playing video games adapt very quickly to modern technology being used in the field. So, I bet at this point you are asking yourself some questions such as: How much money are you raising? Our overall goal is $2.2 million; however, we will start construction when we have raised $1.2 million, which we are well on our way to. At this point we have raised approximately $450,000. What is the size of the new facility? Approximately 8,000 square feet. How will it look? The new education facility will complement and blend in with the appearance of the current museum. What will happen to the current building? The Powers Room will become a Library and Research Room. The Display Area will become a Meeting/Conference Room. The Office Area will become storage and staging When is construction anticipated to begin and end? We will begin as soon as funding becomes available. We do also have many naming opportunities. If you would like your name on the facility it will be just $1,000,000; Museum Display Area, $250,000; Classroom #1, $50,000 (Reserved); Classroom #2, $50,000; Entry Foyer, $25,000; Gift Shop, $25,000; Break Room, $25,000; Office #1, $15,000; Office #2, $15,000; we will also have naming opportunities from $500 to $10,000 for multiple exhibit spaces. Donations of $5,000 or more will be recognized on the Major Donor Wall of the Education Center. Please consider an investment in our community that will continue to honor our veterans while inspiring future generations. The Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and all contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. If you have additional questions, please contact Sandy Thompson, Executive Director of the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives via 256-771-7578 or sndy6732@gmail.com By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans' Museum

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