Executive Director Updates, December 2018

Welcome to the executive director’s updates for December 2018.

The museum and I had a really good November and we appreciate all that you have done to support our success this month and this year.  We hosted a good weekend of Model Railroad Days, a fabulous 2nd Thursday pre-school program, welcomed Santa to the museum and held the first of our Breakfast with Santa events.  I hope each of you got to spend time with family & friends over the Thanksgiving holiday.

As November wrapped up, our track contractor got under way for constructing the final two tracks into the RTE building.  We’ve stared receiving  estimates on the electrical work for the building as well. Thank you to everyone that has contributed to this project, it’s going to provide additional opportunity for protection & interpretation of our collection and I appreciate it.

Fundraising going forward will begin being dedicated to other priority projects; please see our donationpage for more details. As we approach the end of the year I am asking  that everyone consider the museum as a component of your year end tax planning.  Whether you need to reduce your holdings of appreciated stock or you need to complete a required minimum distribution from a retirement plan, the museum as a 501(c)3 non-profit can work with you for a direct donation that in many cases reduces tax bite on you.  Feel free to reach out to me by using our Contact page and clicking administrator.

As December progresses, we continue our slate of Christmas holiday events.  Breakfast & Lunch with Santa  continues on Saturdays through Dec  15.  Tickets for Breakfast and Lunch are online at our ThunderTix  site. Our education department also has a fantastic 2nd Thursday event planned featuring trains. Duluth Historical Society has a fantastic Festival of Trees that will be included in museum admission (either regular admission or event admission) through the Christmas season.

As we look to 2019, know that event planning is well underway. It includes repeats of popular activities (TypeWriter TypeIn (Jan), photography contest (Feb), Caboose Days (Mar), Fast Track 5k(May)) and the introduction of a few new ones (Steak Cookoff (with Caboose Days in March), Georgia Street Rod Association meeting).   While our events add flair to the museum, the heart and soul is preservation and you’ll see several exhibits refreshed in building 1 and you’ll see a re-alignment of outside exhibits as we complete the RTE track.

As we continue growing, our 2019 agenda includes several items that have not gotten as much attention in the past. This includes review/revision to our strategic plan, a review of our board to identify development & growth opportunities, and a review of our fundraising strategies.  All of these initiatives will be geared towards making the museum stronger, more engaging and more accessible.  I’m looking for to the exciting opportunities ahead and hope you’ll join me on this journey.

For your Holiday planning, please be aware that the museum will NOT open on either Tuesday December 25 or January 1 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s repectively.  We will plan to operate regular hours Wed – Saturday on both sides of Christmas so please come out  shop our giftshop for Chirstmas gifts or just explore the Duluth Historical Society’s Festival of Trees.  Per our routine practice, we’ll be open Thurs-Saturday beginning Jan 3, 2019.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years,

About Randy Pirkle 54 Articles
Randy Pirkle is the museum's Executive Director Emeritus.

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