1. Applications to companies and others seeking grants, this is a very difficult proposition. The applications have to be very precise and applicable to the company interests. One of the first questions they want answered is, “How much have you and your constituency invested in this project?” While we have a substantial amount that has been raised and donated, there is still a large sum to complete the task at hand.
2. Individual donations, this is probably the hardest of all the possibilities. People don’t like to ask friends for donations, no matter how valued the project. I have gone to the state employees charitable campaign several times and come out with minimal results. It seems that pets, abused children, and other ventures outweigh what we are presenting. An empty lot with plans to build some day.
3. Fund raising activities, this can be very profitable, but needs to be widespread. In the last few months, we have received $300 from Texas Roadhouse (Winter Fire School), $156 from Potbelly Sandwiches in Columbia, and approximately $1,500 from the sale of flags for the memorial service. These are all in a concentrated area in Mid-Missouri. What is needed is for individuals and departments all across Missouri to approach restaurants in their communities and let them do the work. Some that offer events like I am talking about are Texas Roadhouse, Chipotle, Wendy’s, pizza establishments, etc. If 50 individuals or departments across Missouri held fund raisers at restaurants and raised an average of $250, that would bring in $12,500 for this project. Doing this four times a year, would bring in $50,000. What about chili suppers, pancake meals, dodgeball between first responder groups, softball, baseball or basketball games, the possibilities are endless.
My question for you is very simple, how bad do we want a fire fighters’ museum to celebrate the heritage of the Missouri fire service? It can be done, but it won’t be done unless there is a total commitment by departments all over Missouri. I am not a firefighter, but I joined this endeavor because I believe it needs to be done and I believe it will be done. I haven’t been as successful as I wanted to be in this, but I have not given up. It is time for you as fire fighters to step up and promote and help fund this museum.
Let’s do it!