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Lewes History Musuem Donations to be Fully Matched up to $1 Million

The campaign to raise $2.3 million to launch the new Lewes History Museum received a major boost when a one-to-one match of every donation was announced recently by a generous anonymous donor.

“Starting now, through December 1, 2017, the donor will match dollar-for-dollar every gift to the Lewes History Museum campaign, up to $1 million,” said Elizabeth Owen of Lewes, campaign chair.

The funds can be used for campaign capital and operations purposes.  “This is a tremendous opportunity for donors to maximize the impact of their donations to a very important cause,” Owen said.

The Lewes History Museum is being constructed within a 12,500 square foot facility previously occupied by the Lewes Public Library, on the grounds of Stango Park in Lewes.  The facility will be known as the Margaret H. Rollins Community Center.

The museum will be managed by The Lewes Historical Society which, over 54 years, has accumulated more than 10,000 artifacts and hundreds of thousands of historic images, books and documents, which can now be displayed, examined and interpreted at a professional museum.

“Because the museum is utilizing an existing facility, as well as current staff from the Society, it can be created and operated for just a quarter of the cost of building and running a new structure,” Owen said. 

“This will be a world-class community center and museum that will enable a better understanding of the people, values and historic events that shaped southern Delaware,” said Michael DiPaolo, executive director of the Society.

Through exhibits, educational seminars and presentations, the museum will tell the varied stories from 385 years of Lewes history, during which it grew from a primitive fishing village to the main shipping and railroad port on the Delmarva Peninsula.

“Every family in southern Delaware has some connection with Lewes,” said DiPaolo.  “For generations, it was the gateway through which people and goods flowed, both coming and going.”

Owen said the museum will play a key role in communicating and maintaining the historic values of southern Delaware – “people working together for the mutual good of their communities.”

The museum plans a grand opening by July, 2017.

For more information about gift matching, please contact the campaign office at 302-644-0107.