News Column

Jefferson County Historical Society plans fundraisers, aims to be 'in the black'

July 16, 2014

By Rebecca Madden, Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.

July 16--WATERTOWN -- Jefferson County Historical Society Executive Director Jessica M. Phinney believes in trying something just once.

That is what she has led the museum toward, as the nonprofit recently hosted its inaugural 5k walk/run, canceled the formerly popular Heritage Days and is working on developing additional revenue streams.

"We are doing better than we have been doing in previous years, but it's still a challenge to stay in the black," Mrs. Phinney said. "Fundraising is a large part of making ends meet."

It's because of just that the museum, 228 Washington St., organized the walk/run in June. Although there were just 20 runners, Mrs. Phinney said, she was proud of the first-time event, and will work on developing it for 2015.

Much of the agency's revenue comes in during the fall, so summer months tend to have less money coming in. To make up for that, she said, the historical society has explored smaller fundraisers. The second annual estate sale, which will be held Friday and Saturday at the museum, is expected to bring in a couple of thousand dollars.

Gently used household goods from north country homes will be for sale, not items in the museum's collection. Mrs. Phinney said antique furniture and silver are among the highlights. Donations will be accepted through Thursday afternoon.

A wine and cheese preview will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, at a cost of $5 per person, giving people a chance to bid on items they wish before the formal sale is held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. All proceeds benefit the historical society's overall operations.

Mrs. Phinney said the museum is simultaneously recruiting nearby businesses as sponsors of upcoming events. Beginning at $500, and going up, businesses may become a sponsor of the agency's Aug. 23 History on the Water event, Oct. 18 fashion show and luncheon, Nov. 15 Victorian Faire and Dec. 5 holiday reception.

"We have a pretty progressive board, are trying to find new things and are trying to find our signature event," she said.

For more information about the museum, visit


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Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)

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