Mark Twain Home and Museum needs $10M by end of 2010 - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Mark Twain Home and Museum needs $10M by end of 2010

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) - The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum is seeking $10-million endowment by the end of 2010 to continue its ongoing operations, according to a news release issued Monday morning.

"A significant endowment will carry the museum through good times and bad times when we're all dead and gone," Dr. Cindy Lovell, executive director for the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, said in the news release. "Mark Twain will live forever in his writings, but we need this endowment to make sure the museum remains operational.  Right now we are completely dependent upon admissions, gift shop sales, memberships, and donations.  An endowment of this size will eliminate the worry about the future."

The campaign is being called the "10 by 10", as Lovell says the target date for reaching the $10-million mark is December 31, 2010. The 2010 year marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's death.

An initial goal of $3-million is being pursued by December 31, 2009.

The goal is being pursued through donations, pledges, or gifts such as securities, trusts, wills and life insurance. The museum has also launched a "Support the Mark Twain Boyhood Home in Hannibal" fundraiser on Facebook.

"Facebook is a great way to reach out to Twain fans around the world," Lovell said.  "We really want to emphasize the importance of grassroots giving.  If a lot of people give a little, we'll make it.  Even Jeffrey Nichols, the executive director of the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut donated on Facebook."  The site lets donors challenge their friends to participate.

The museum properties include eight buildings, six of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Boyhood Home is designated a National Historic Landmark.

Watch WGEM News at 5, 6 and 10 as Laura Johnson visits the Mark Twain Home & Museum for a closer look at the fundraising campaign.

Further information is available on the museum's website: http://marktwainmuseum.org or by calling 573-221-9010, ext. 402.

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