Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center seeks financial

Photo by Michelle Watson
Campaign Manager Mandi Bronsell, Campaign Co-Chairs: Charlene Pate, Rachel Leaman and Debbie Fash (Not pictured: Jan Leaman), and Children’s Museum of Houston Executive Director Tammie Kahn.

The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center Capital Campaign Committee raised an additional $125,000 towards the growing funds of the project this week alone bringing to a total raise of $792,000 since kickoff in August.  The generous contributions were made by the Fred & Mable R. Parks Foundation and committee members Manmeet and Paul Likhari  and Lynn and Dr. Dennis Halford.  The fundraising goal is $3.65 million.

Leading fundraising efforts are Fort Bend residents and campaign co-chairs:  Debbie Fash, Jan Leaman, Rachel Leaman and Charlene Pate along with campaign manager, Mandi Bronsell, who has 15-years of fundraising experience.  Earlier this year, the George Foundation pledged a $1 million challenge grant to the project.  The challenge requires the Museum to  raise a matching $1 million by October 2013 from Fort Bend-based donors.  The committee is inching away from completing that first milestone with $208,000 still needed.

The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center is a very special project of the Children’s Museum of Houston.  The Museum seeks funds to open a year-round facility at the historic Imperial Development in summer 2015.  The Discovery Center will occupy a 10,000 square-foot restored building and will house six exhibits.  It will also give the Museum the opportunity to enrich the educational lives of Fort Bend’s children by expanding cultural and educational family-focused opportunities.

The Museum has worked alongside Fort Bend for several years.  In 2007 and 2008, the Museum conducted summer venues at available retail spaces within Town Square in Sugar Land, each for six weeks. Those summer efforts were well received with 21,000 visitors each year.

The Museum also has delivered outreach programming to low income families living in Fort Bend since the mid 1990s.  It has worked with more than 40 partners in the community to ensure that underserved populations get free access to the Museum and to raise awareness about the Museum’s family learning programming.  Additionally, parents in Richmond, Rosenberg and Sugar Land have benefited from the Museum’s Parent Stars program, a school-based initiative which provides bilingual resources and support so they can increase the learning and literacy skills of their children.

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