FL Museum exceeds crowdfunding goal

The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium succeeded in its first try at online fundraising after signing on with GiveGab, an Internet crowdfunding service based in Ithaca. The three-week campaign to raise over $10,000 in contributions for an ADA-compliant kayak and canoe launch at its Creekside Center on Sugar Creek in Branchport.Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising smaller monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically through the Internet, and is a form of alternative finance that has emerged outside of the traditional financial system. The Launch the Launch campaign was managed by FLM&A volunteers Kelley Jo Elliott, Ann Francis, and Helen Heizyk.Board chair Bill Gaske said, “The FLM&A Board of Trustees is tremendously grateful to all who contributed to the campaign and to the dedicated volunteers and staff who ran it. The successful campaign strongly indicates the growing Finger Lakes community support for the FLM&A, which will be needed as we continue to raise funds and work to open the museum to the public.”Volunteer Kelley Jo Elliott of Hammondsport said, “I’m thrilled to see so much support for the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium. The Creekside Center and launch, on top of community programs already offered, are just the beginning of great things to come. It’s an exciting time to get involved!”Penfield and Keuka Lake resident and volunteer Ann Francis stated, “This successful campaign to fund our onsite canoe and kayak launch is a great example how we are redefining the word museum at the FLM&A. Visitors will not only learn from our exhibits but will be provided with activities so they can personally experience the beauty, the people, the land and the water of this extraordinary region. It’s so exciting to know that thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of our supporters, soon we can get more people out on the water!”Volunteer Helen Heizyk of Potter said, “As a Finger Lakes native and museum volunteer I am so excited to see this project move forward thanks to our Launch the Launch campaign supporters!”An open house to show off the Creekside Center and boat launch is scheduled for Saturday, October 10th. Refreshments will be served and kayaks and canoes will be available for the public to experience paddling on Sugar Creek.The launch will be available for public use and will enable all paddlers, including people with physical infirmities, to enjoy the placid waters of Sugar Creek and venture into the west branch of Keuka Lake.A paddling partnership program with Keuka Lake State Park is in the works and will be announced next spring after all the details and accommodations have been worked out.The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium is an initiative to create a premier educational institution to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the vast Finger Lakes Region of New York State and is a 501(c)-3 not-for-profit corporation, chartered by the State Education Department. Contributions in any amount are tax-deductible.

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