From the community

Owls Head Transportation Museum joins group of Maine museums in support of Connecticut Children’s Museum

Posted July 31, 2013, at 1:59 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2013, at 1:52 p.m.

On Thursday, August 1, the Owls Head Transportation Museum will donate all proceeds from admissions to help support the construction of a children’s museum in Newtown, Connecticut, the city that was the site of a mass shooting in December. The Owls Head Transportation Museum joins six other Maine museums in donating all or a portion of the day’s admission proceeds to support that cause. Some of the participating museums will also accept donations that day from visitors who wish to make a contribution toward the Newtown museum.

The participating Maine museums are the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, the Maine Historical Society in Portland, the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, the Maine State Museum in Augusta, the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport and the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head.

The effort to build a children’s museum in Newtown predated the December tragedy, but after that day the effort gained even greater momentum because many in the community realized there was a much greater need than before.

“The need for the children’s museum, which everyone thought was a great idea before, became almost a necessity,” said Kristin Chiriatti, the Newtown museum’s president, in an interview for an article in The Huffington Post on January 29. “People understood that the children will need a place to heal. We have so many children who are scared to go to school now and may have lifelong poor associations with learning.”

After the December shooting, communities and organizations across the country looked for ways to help the children and families of Newtown. Three museums in Grand Rapids, Michigan, chose to contribute a portion of one day’s admission fees toward helping fund the Newtown children’s museum, which has been named the “EverWonder Museum.” The Association of Children’s Museums picked up the movement and launched a national effort.

When Amy Lent, executive director of Maine Maritime Museum, read about the effort she invited other museums in Maine to join as well, and many responded enthusiastically.

“In light of this tragedy, I feel it is imperative that we band together to help buoy something so positive, a celebration of children and the very things that are so important to them—love, security and consistency,” Owls Head Transportation Museum Executive Director Russ Rocknak explained. “After all, without our younger generation’s strength to move forward into the world of wonderment and discovery, we as a society would be left without a future.”

Because Maine museums enjoy greater visitation during the summer months, August 1 was selected as the day the museums would share a portion of their admission fees with the Newtown museum.

The Owls Head Transportation Museum is an independent, nonprofit museum. The Museum is home to an expansive operating collection of antique automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, bicycles, engines and more. The Museum hosts over a dozen special events annually, including a highly anticipated Aerobatic Airshow, Vintage Motorcycle Meet and the New England Auto Auction. View our permanent collection, including a 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom once owned by the actress Clara Bow, the last remaining 1930 Pitcairn PA-7S, a 1907 Renault Vanderbilt Racer, early Indian motorcycles and much more. Our ever-changing array of special exhibits presently features MGs & Microcars: Small, Practical and Elegant and A Century Ago, an exhibit highlighting Mainers’ use of transportation at the dawn of the aviation age. Founded in 1974 and open year round, the Museum is proud to offer an array of educational workshops and seminars for transportation enthusiasts of all ages throughout the year. A visit to the Museum is sure to delight transportation and history enthusiasts of all ages.

Visitors under 18 are always admitted free of charge.

For further information please contact Owls Head Transportation Museum Public Relations Director Jenna Lookner at 207-594-4418.

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