MANKATO, MN (July 20, 2015)—Mankato Area Foundation announces two grants totaling $105,000 to the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM). Grants were distributed from the David Christensen and Jill Evans Fund of the Mankato Area Foundation and the Page Jones Richards Family Fund of the Mankato Area Foundation. The grants will support the CMSM capital campaign as well as the Cecil Jones Imagineering Loft, a dynamic mezzanine space for hands-on discovery dedicated to the legacy of Cecil Jones. In addition to these grants, the Page Jones Richards Family Fund has pledged $20,000 a year for an additional 11 years in support of the Loft.
Nancy Zallek, Executive Director of the Mankato Area Foundation, said she was pleased both donor advised funds could support the Museum as it nears its grand opening on May 1, 2015. "This is an exciting time for the Museum. This project has been over eight years in the making and I am very excited that they will soon be able to share this dream with the public. Both David and Jill and the Richards family have been very supportive of the Museum and I know these gifts come at a critical time."
Peter Olson agreed that even though they will be opening the Museum soon, "We will still be raising financial support for several exhibits. We are incredibly grateful to the Mankato Area Foundation and their donors. The Foundation provided us with our first grant in 2007 and these families have been wonderful patrons throughout this process- having donated their time, talent and their treasures. It’s another example of what a supportive community we have."