I have followed, with admiration and respect, the efforts of Benton County Historical Society supporters to raise funds for a new museum on the Corvallis Riverfront.

For the dedicated group of project leaders, this multiyear effort has been a labor of love as well as a test of patience and perseverance. First, supporters raised the funds to purchase the former Copeland Lumber site downtown. Then, donors came forward to fund construction of a climate-controlled storage facility to house the Horner Collection until the new museum was completed. Those efforts were followed by the current (and largest) drive to raise funds for the museum itself.

Now, this $9.5 million project is just $700,000 from reaching the finish line, with groundbreaking scheduled to take place next spring. It has reached the phase where gifts of every size are needed and significant. It's time to bring "all hands on deck" to ensure this remarkable effort concludes successfully.

Our beautiful new museum will be an educational and architectural magnet for our riverfront, bringing visitors, students and local residents downtown. It is a signature example of what Corvallis voters envisioned 20 years ago when they elected to turn a collection of gravel parking lots into what is now Corvallis Riverfront Park.

Please join me in making this long-held vision of a Corvallis museum a reality. Visit www.bentoncountymuseum.org to learn more.

Julie Manning

Corvallis (Nov. 29)

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