The Cast of “The Case of The Missing Donation”!
Another auction has come and gone for Akron Fossils & Science Center, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect cap to our tenth anniversary celebration! This year’s auction was held at a new venue, Compass Christian Church in Akron, which generously allowed us to use their facility in the midst of a renovation. Not only did we have a record number of volunteers and a record number of guests with nearly 200 people in attendance, we raised a record-breaking amount of funds!!
Thanks to our guests and the nearly 80 businesses and individuals that donated items to be auctioned off, Akron Fossils & Science Center was able to raise $11, 978, and more money from individuals who enjoyed their time at the auction and would like to support our message is continuing to come in each week! Our ultimate goal is to reach $12,500 by the end of the year with the hope of entering 2016 with stabilized funding so that we can maximize and strengthen the programming we have been building over the past few years. Here are just a few of the areas your funds will support:
- Programming: In addition to tours, Akron Fossils & Science Center puts on birthday parties, hosts education days, holds monthly Super Science Saturdays, puts on Youth Lock-Ins, hosts various Lecture Series, leads Wilderness Adventures, brings the tour on the road with Museum In a Backpack, runs Summer Camps, and houses a variety of science classes. All of these wonderful programs are not only fun and educational, but are also built upon and around our message of creation. Your dollars help us fund staff, research, building fees, and materials to keep all of these programs going strong.
- Staff: In order to keep our programming strong, we need a strong and dedicated staff to help run the office, coordinate programs, give tours, and teach classes. Donations help us to maintain our small but mighty staff.
- Maintenance and Building Costs: We operate a small building, but even small buildings take some upkeep! Money raised at the auction helps us to heat and cool the building, make necessary repairs, and keep the lights shining brightly!
- Outreach: Even the best programming won’t do much good if no one knows about it! The money raised this year will help us to expand our outreach efforts to churches, schools, and individuals near and far, connecting our programming with the people who will benefit from it the most!
- AFSC Build Out: At the end of December, we will be making some significant changes to the layout of our building and tour, including adding some electronic, interactive exhibits and moving to a more self guided format (don’t worry—guided tours will still be available). We also plan to use some of the rearranged space for fun, hands-on activities that guests of all ages can enjoy. Our goal with the build-out is to help make the Science Center more informative, accessible, streamlined, and functional. Check back soon for a blog outlining our vision!
In addition to record amounts of funds, this year’s auction had a record amount of FUN! The theme of the auction was “CLUE” and the entire church was decked out to match the mansion in the popular mystery board game. After guests had the opportunity to scope out the many themed auction baskets, which featured everything from tasty treats, to toys, to vacation vouchers, they were called into the dining hall by the “butler” for a delicious pasta dinner and fellowship.
Following supper, everyone gathered together in the “Ballroom” to watch and participate in The Case of The Missing Donation. Complete with costumes, sound effects, and lights, the production was excellently played by each cast member and enhanced by the professional work of the crew. Once the case was presented, it was up to our audience to solve the mystery and find the diamond that had been donated to Akron Fossils and Science Center by its generous patron, “Mr. Body”.
Guests of all ages had fun putting their sleuthing skills to the test as they searched the many rooms of the mansion for clues and questioned costumed witnesses and members of the manor staff. It was wonderful seeing so many young faces around the auction this year, working with their family to solve the mystery, bidding on items, and just having a good time. We even had some young volunteers help out by serving dinner and selling raffle tickets throughout the night.
When the moment came for the big reveal, everyone was on the edge of their seats, clutching their case files in anticipation. Thankfully, it was discovered that the donation was only accidentally vacuumed up by the innocent Mrs. White. The generous diamond was quickly recovered, much to the relief of Akron Fossils & Science Center! Good work detectives!
Overall, it would be safe to say it was Akron Fossils and Science Center’s most successful auction yet! We can’t wait for next year!!
The case of the missing donation may have been a great mystery, but it’s no mystery that Akron Fossils and Science Center has made a great impact since its founding in 2005. Since our very first tour 10 years ago, Akron Fossils and Science Center has reached over 100,000 children and adults from all walks of life with the message that science and creation go hand in hand. As a result of tours, lectures, birthday parties, education days, and other programming, thousands have been able to hear that they are not the result of random processes, but rather amazing and intricate creations that have been designed by an intelligent and loving God.
The auction, along with the additional generous donations of its guests, has provided enough funding to keep the doors of Akron Fossils & Science Center open, but we must keep the momentum going! As a small, non-profit center, we rely on the support of donors and volunteers throughout the year to help us continue to reach people with the message of truth. This is especially true as our founder, Bill Sanderson, begins moving into a season of retirement in which he will not be able to continue to contribute as much funding to the Science Center as he has in years past.
You may be saying to yourself “I would love to help the Science Center, but I just can’t afford to donate money right now!” That’s ok! There are countless ways—big and small—that you can help Akron Fossils & Science Center. Here are just a few:
- Cleaning: With so many great programs happening each day at AFSC, it can be difficult to keep tidy! By donating an hour or two to helping us sweep and mop up, you help us keep a professional appearance that will help us to better present our message. Your time will also help free up our staff to continue developing fun and educational ways to connect people to the truth!
- Maintenance: Similarly to keeping a clean museum, keeping up a well maintained museum can be a big job! Do you have some handyman, painting, construction, or landscaping skills in your back pocket? Then we could use your help! Any time someone volunteers this work means that another dollar can go towards supporting the programming of Akron Fossils & Science Center!
- Outreach: This is one of the most important ways that you can help us and guess what? It doesn’t cost you a penny! Our best programming is useless if no one knows about us, so like us on Facebook, tell your friends to stop by, introduce us to your church, write a nice review online, hand out brochures, or set up a Museum in A Backpack presentation at your church, school, or get together. You are Akron Fossils & Science Center’s greatest billboard!
- Become an annual member or annual supporter: Becoming an annual member ($75) or an annual supporter ($150) is a great way to support AFSC on multiple levels while also getting the biggest bang for your buck. Both memberships provide you with unlimited free tours of the Science Center, unlimited use of Truassic Park, which includes our 200 foot zipline, giant slide, swings, and mini-golf, one-time guest passes, gift shop discounts, birthday party upgrades, discounts on summer camps , discount pricing for special events such as Super Science Saturday, theme days, and lectures, and more!
- Pray: Here is another free one! Prayer doesn’t cost anything, but it has powerful results. We know that through God all things are possible. He has the power to soften hearts and keep our doors open.
These are just a few of the many ways you can help Akron Fossils & Science Center throughout the year. Looking back over 2015 and this auction, we are truly humbled and energized by the generosity and outpouring of love and support that our friends have shown. Thanks to your support, Akron Fossils & Science Center will be able to keep its doors open and continue to build up the church and connect people with the message of truth.
Let’s take this momentum and keep moving forward into the new year!
There are still more people to reach and more fun to be had! To stay updated on the changes occurring at the Science Center and to get updates on how you can continue to help, sign up for our email list to receive our e-newsletter.
THANK YOU once again for joining us for our annual auction! We cannot wait to see what God has in store for Akron Fossils & Science Center in 2016!!