By Elsa Maxey
The exciting news about a new Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center at Imperial is out. Last week, Susie Goff of the Johnson Development Corporation told members of the Fort Bend Rotary Club in Missouri City – Sienna Plantation/Riverstone of the museum’s development plans to open at the historic site. Towards that reality, comes this week’s announcement about the George Foundation and its $1 million pledge as a challenge grant for the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center to become operational year-round beginning the summer of 2015.
“Having the Children’s Discovery Center in Fort Bend County will give more parents the ability to enrich their children’s lives right in their own backyard,” said George Foundation Grant Officer Dee Koch, who indicates the Trustees’ interest in fostering the development of children in Fort Bend. The George Foundation was also instrumental in the museum’s 2009 expansion.
The total fundraising goal for the Discovery Center local project is $3.65 million. To meet the George Foundation’s challenge, the museum will need to come up with a matching $1 million by October 2013, and according to the announcement, it’s to come “from Fort Bend-based donors.”
Imperial Sugar Land General Manager Shay Shafie said, “The facility will be a wonderful addition to Sugar Land and most certainly will enhance Imperial’s appeal as Fort Bend’s premier destination.” As planned, the Discovery Center, intended to enrich and expand the cultural and educational lives of Fort Bend’s children, will occupy one of the restored buildings at Imperial. It will house six exhibits, and will also have an outdoor space.
Children’s Museum of Houston Executive Director Tammie Kahn said, “The additional outpouring of positive support from the Fort Bend community for this project has been overwhelming. We are already hard at work bringing to life the ideas that will make the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center a true landmark for all of Fort Bend’s families.”
Children’s Museum of Houston board member and Sugar Land resident, Charlene Pate, is a Capital Campaign Committee Co-Chair. She said, “The Fort Bend community values education, and there is no place more exciting to learn than in our Museum.” Campaign Manager for the Discover Center fundraising is Fort Bend native Mandi Bronsell. Bronsell, the mother of three children who lives in Richmond, has 15 years experience in fundraising.
Persons interested in gift giving opportunities are asked to Brosnell at 281-282-7476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.