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Corvette Museum Gets $1M Closer To Addition


Gone but not forgotten
Jan 30, 2001
Hermosa Beach, CA
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe

By Scott Sisco, ssisco@bgdailynews.com -- 270-783-3256

Thursday, June 03, 2004

The National Corvette Museum has passed the $1 million mark in its effort to double its building’s size.

The $6 million fund-raising campaign is expected to take about five years, Executive Director Wendell Strode said. On June 30, the first year will be over.

“We’re pretty well on target,” he said. “I think we’ll even be able to do better than our five years, but we’ll have to see.”

The total now stands at $1.024 million.

The museum recently sent a letter to about 45,000 households requesting donations and has dedicated proceeds from raffles and auctions at events this year to the campaign, Strode said. Next year, at least one Corvette raffle will be dedicated to the campaign. The museum raffles off several cars each year.

“We’re finding new and creative ways to do fund raising,” Strode said.
Donations have come from individuals, Corvette clubs and from businesses involved in after-market accessories for Corvettes, Strode said.

Museum board member Dennis Smith, who owns DDS Engineering Services in Bowling Green, was one of the largest local contributors to the campaign so far, according to Strode. But Smith wouldn’t say how much the contribution was.

Smith said he believes in the Corvette, the museum and what it means to the community.

“I want to see it stick around here,” he said.

Strode also identified another large contributor – Jack Matukas, commercial real estate agent with Coldwell Banker and a member of the board. Matukas said he has pledged a gift in the five-figure range for the campaign.

Matukas said he has seen the museum go from struggling to thriving in the past few years. The expansion is needed because several entities are crammed into the museum’s current space. It will help the museum better serve Corvette enthusiasts and the community, he said.

Matukas and his wife lived in California and visited the museum from there.

“We’ve gotten a lot out of the museum,” he said.

It was one of the reasons Matukas wanted to move to Bowling Green.

“There are a lot of people around the country like that,” Matukas said.

The campaign got a boost in February when the museum paid back its debts to Warren County, Bowling Green and the Bowling Green Area Convention Visitors Board. The CVB returned $500,000 to the museum for the building fund. The debts were the bonds used to build the museum. After refinancing the bonds, the museum paid back the city, county and CVB, which had been helping the museum make the yearly bond payments.

The addition will bring the museum to the full realization of what it was intended to be, especially with the archives section to hold onto the history of the Corvette.

The 60,000-square-foot addition will double the current size of the museum. New areas will include a permanent library and archives, a cafe, a Hall of Fame area, a dedicated delivery area and a museum exhibition and banquet hall that could hold 60 cars or 1,000 people.

The Corvette Library and Archives will preserve historical materials, documents, photos, video footage and other items for researchers, enthusiasts and historians to access.

When the campaign reaches the $3 million mark, the museum will begin working with an architectural firm to design the addition. At the $4 million mark, bids will be advertised, Strode said.

“I think it’s going great,” he said. “I’ve been very, very pleased.”

Daily News · 813 College St. · PO Box 90012 · Bowling Green, KY · 42102 · 270-781-1700


Well-known member
Mar 12, 2002
East Haven, CT- USA
84 Coupe
In 5 years they will need 12 million dollars.

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