The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, a 501(c)(3) organization, today announced it received a more than $1.2 million gift from a local anonymous donor. The donation is only the second seven-figure unrestricted contribution to the museum in its 20-year history.
"This extraordinary gift represents an important investment in the museum’s future and will help sustain our remarkable success," said Fern Shupeck, executive director. "We are especially grateful that this generous donor shares our commitment to meeting the needs of families in our community that are struggling to raise a young child."
Because the museum does not receive operating assistance from the United Way, UPAF or from city, county or state governments, private donations and grants are critical to sustaining the museum’s educational mission in the community, enabling it to maintain affordable admission and membership rates, and provide free programs and services that benefit thousands of disadvantaged families annually.
Since opening in 1995, the museum has served more than 3.5 million children and adults, including more than 575,000 participants in outreach programs that offer free parenting education, admission, membership, field trips and transportation assistance to help support families living in poverty, foster families, teen parents, at-risk fathers, families with a disabled child and others whose circumstances often limit their access to educational resources that can shape a child’s school readiness and lifelong values. The museum is considered one of the best facilities of its kind in the nation, and is among the most respected and popular family destinations in southeastern Wisconsin.
"Research demonstrates that disadvantaged children stand to benefit the most from quality early learning experiences like those provided by the museum, improving the likelihood that they will become an accomplished student and a productive adult," Shupeck said. "This gift will have an indelible impact on our community outreach efforts."