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Annual Fund 2023

To members and friends of VCHS:

Once a year, we do a special appeal letter to ask for consideration in your gift giving. To help with your planning, I would like to lay out some concerns and plans for the Vernon County Historical Society.

First of all, I would like to say we have one of the best small museums in the area, manned by a part‐time staff that gives their all to make the organization work well. And, what would we do without all of our wonderful volunteers? Our volunteers are a blessing.

I know that those of you who attended or trained at the Normal School have a deep love of the building and all that it represents. Your past and continuing support is greatly appreciated. We are doing the best we can with the funds that we have to maintain the building in a manner befitting its history. This past summer all of the windows were scraped and painted. This project was enabled by a generous donation from a past Normal School attendee. Thank you, Mr.Lee.

We are now looking into heating and air conditioning for the second and third floors. This project’s goal is to provide a more temperate climate on those two floors which will help to preserve the physical building, our exhibits, and our collections. A temperate climate on those floors should also encourage better attendance and make more programming possible. Major funds will be needed for this project. We are working with an engineer to assess the needs which will figure into the cost of this project.

Please consider remembering VCHS in your will or as a beneficiary on life policies or bank accounts. A beneficiary designation such as a POD (pay on death) on CD’s or other bank accounts is all that is needed outside of a will.

Some of you may be thinking that we are a county museum, so doesn’t the county support the organization? The answer to that question is yes and no. We are the Vernon County Museum, and the financial help that we receive from Vernon County is a stipend of $30,000 per year to assist with the wages for our two part‐time employees. This helps immensely and we are very grateful to the County for that support. We needed to make some salary adjustments this past year as our pay scale dated back to mid-20th century. The result is a shortfall in 2023 of $8,000.00.

We oversee and maintain the two buildings that the Society owns, the Normal School and the Sherry/Butt house, plus we oversee the two buildings that the County owns, St. Mary’s Church Museum and the Foreaker School. We provide the museum experience and programming for the general public at all of the properties. And, we do this on an income of about $62,000.00 a year. This is our 2022 income and includes the stipend from the County. So, you see there is not much wiggle room for extras.

We rely on our loyal members’ generosity for assistance in the continuation of the Vernon County Historical Society.Please see the accompanying form for information on how to donate to the annual fund.

If anyone has questions or wishes to discuss any of the points brought up in this letter, I would be happy to make myself available. My home phone number is 608-637-2574. Letters may be sent to me at the Vernon County Historical Society: P.O. Box 444, Viroqua WI 54665.

Dian Krause, President of the Board

Yes! I will contribute to the 2023 Annual Fund by making a donation to the Vernon County Historical Society:

printable donation form