News Column

Zing Zumm Children's Museum holds informational breakfasts

July 30, 2014

By Adelina Colbert, The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.



July 30--Organizers with the Zing Zumm Children's Museum of Jacksonville held a final informational breakfast session this week with hopes of seeking more funds for the museum.

More than 20 people, including retired educators and business owners, attended the meeting that was held Tuesday at the Don Williamson Nissan on Western Boulevard. Both the public and board members were given updates on the progress of the museum, as well as future plans for the space.

Co-chair Lani Beuerman said the board aims to raise $400,000 through a capital campaign, which would cover the initial startup costs of the museum.

"The capital campaign is underway," Beuerman said. "It will be for the renovation and to hire a director."

Fundraising efforts for the museum in the past have included the annual Don Williamson Nissan "Zing Zumm Runn," a family friendly event where children and adults are able to walk run or run in a one mile or 5k race.

Beuerman said they raised $9,000 this year through the event.

"We have had a family fun run for the last two years and (Don Williamson Nissan has) been our major sponsor for that," she said.

Co-chair Liz Owens said board members and others who want to help the museum will reach out to the community for donations over the next couple of months.

"We're going to start going out and soliciting for funds," Owens said, "...start campaigning for the children's museum and renovate the fire station and open our doors."

The museum will be located at 820 Barn St., which currently houses Fire Station No. 2. According to Owens, renovation work cannot begin until fire officials have moved into their new location on Gum Branch Road, but she is hopeful for construction to start early next year.

Plans for the building of a children's museum began back in 2005 when Owens and Beuerman saw what they said is a need for an educational yet fun place for children that was closer to home.

"(The idea) came from taking our kindergarteners down to the former museum in Wilmington," Beuerman said. "The drive was an hour or more and we had to be back by a certain time."

Beuerman said there is demand for a facility like this in Jacksonville and Onslow County.

"We need it in Jacksonville ... this would be a real plus for the community," she said.

Pansy Mann, a retired teacher and resident of Jacksonville, supports the creation of the museum.

"I have a great love for young children and they just need some time to be children," Mann said. "I have a 20-month-old grandson and there's nothing that I can take him to."

Margaret Jones and her husband, Samuel, of Jacksonville, also attended the meeting Tuesday morning. Jones, who has four grandchildren, is looking forward to the opening of the museum.

"It would be a wonderful place to take them to when they visit," Jones said.

___

(c)2014 The Daily News (Jacksonville, N.C.)

Visit The Daily News (Jacksonville, N.C.) at www.jdnews.com

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Source: Daily News (Jacksonville, NC)


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