Fundraising efforts are under way to raise $10,000 needed to qualify for a $50,000 grant through the Heritage Trust Foundation to refurbish the old Allen County Jail Museum.
To date $1,271 has been raised, said Jeff Kluever, director of the Allen County Historical Society.
Area residents who are interested in sporting events and memorabilia can help in the fundraising effort by purchasing tickets at the Historical Museum for a chance to win tickets to football games at Kansas State University and Emporia State University or to see a Wichita Thunder hockey game. There are also autographed basketballs from the University of Kansas’ men’s and women’s teams, assorted items from the KU bookstore, Pittsburg State University’s men’s basketball jerseys, shorts and T-shirts, assorted football cards and a Chicago Cubs tailgate rolling cooler.
Tickets are $1 each, six tickets for $5 or 25 tickets for $20.
“When you purchase tickets you can choose which items you would like to win. If you buy six tickets you can put a ticket on six different items or all on one, it’s your choice,” Kluever said.
Donations for the fundraiser will be taken until Sept. 5 when the winning tickets will be picked. People do not have to be present to win.
“WE HAVE until November to raise the $10,000 but if we aren’t close enough to our goal we will wait until next year to apply for the grant giving us more time to earn money,” Kluever said.
It is important for people to know that all money given to repair the old jail will be used for that purpose only, Kluever said.
Visitors to the building can see the plaster is falling off the walls and ceiling and window frames have rotted. On the outside, the mortar between the limestone blocks is eroding and vegetation is growing in the cracks.
Another way to help the museum is to become a member of the historical society. Annual membership dues are $10; a lifetime membership is $100. There are no demands on a person’s time when he or she become a member, however, volunteers are always welcome at the museums, Kluever said.
Membership checks or donations to the old jail renovations may be sent to Allen County Historical Society and Museum, 20 S. Washington, Iola, KS 66749.