Passport program: It pays to explore Southeast Kansas

The SEK Museum Alliance offers a chance at cash prizes for those who visit up to 34 museums in the region. The Allen County Historical Society is included. Passports are available at the historical society.

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January 6, 2021 - 9:59 AM

SEK Museum Alliance passports are now available. Courtesy photo

The Allen County Historical Society and 33 other museums across Southeast Kansas are offering a chance to win money while learning about the region’s history.

The SEK Museum Alliance is offering a special “passport” with information about each of the 34 museums. Visit the museums anytime this year (until Dec. 31, 2021) and get your passport stamped by a museum official. At the end of the year, take a photo of your passport verification page and submit it for a chance to win cash prizes.

“I hope it brings interest in Southeast Kansas history,” Kurtis Russell, ACHS director, said. 

“Southeast Kansas is filled with weird, fun and one-of-a kind history. With 34 museums and historical societies taking part in this passport program, there will be plenty of chances to learn and explore. Not to mention explorers need fuel (food) for their adventures. So I recommend trying local restaurants while you explore Southeast Kansas this year.”

Drawings won’t be held until January of 2022. Those who visit 10 of the participating museums are eligible for a drawing for $100. For every five additional museums visited, the cash prize goes up $50. Visit 30 museums, and you could win $300.

The passports are available at participating museums. The Allen County Historical Society has 100 passports available on a first-come-first-served basis. Individuals must pick up their own passport. Russell recommends calling the historical society at 620-365-3501.

Instructions for the contest are printed in the passport. The passports also include hours for each museum, contact information and a QR Code to learn more. 

Some of the sites include the Big Brutus Museum & Visitors Center at West Mineral, the Dalton Defenders & Coffeyville History Museum, Little House on the Prairie Museum in Independence, and the Decades of Wheels Car Museum in Baxter Springs.

“The Passport is an excellent directory of Southeast Kansas museums and a meaningful, fun way to experience museums,” Ray Rothgeb, president of the SEK Museum Alliance, said.

“Part of the mission of the Alliance is for Southeast Kansas museums to work together to promote their events and activities and advance their unique histories. I believe that this project does just that.”

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