UPDATE: Saving the Armed Forces Museum

Yesterday we shared a story about the forced closure of the Armed Forces Museum in Largo, Florida.

In October, the founder of the museum, John Piazza Sr. of Seminole, died at 77. Six weeks later, Cindy Dion, the assistant executive director, announced the nonprofit museum would close, saying the expenses were too much to bear without the personal financial support of the founder. At the same time, Dion hoped someone would step up to keep the collection available to the public.

So we decided to step up to the plate and started a “GoFundMe” page for the museum. Naturally, the readers of allenbwest.com or a generous bunch — after all, it’s in our patriotic DNA. We are “Guardians of the Republic” and in just one day, raised over $8,000.

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However, we spoke with Ms. Dion and learned that sadly, it’s barely a drop in the bucket. The annual budget for the museum is around $300,000 and the selling price would be several millions of dollars.

As a result, we are immediately refunding all of the donations, which should hit everyone’s accounts in three to seven days.

We can’t thank you enough for your support. We did try, but even if we’d raised ten times that amount, it wouldn’t have been sufficient. We hope the artifacts in the museum find good homes in other collections. We must preserve our history.

Steadfast and Loyal!

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