$75,000 donation for hurricane museum

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana on Wednesday donated $75,000 to the National Hurricane Museum and Science

Center’s education initiative focusing on weather, water and wetlands.

Sara Judson, president and CEO of the foundation, said the money comes from a fund for the future of the Gulf.

“It seems very appropriate that it would be dedicated to having people all over the country learn more about hurricanes to

protect ourselves for the future,” Judson said.

“All of us in Southwest Louisiana have been impacted more than once by hurricanes.”

The mission of the Community Foundation is to connect human and financial resources to effect permanent and positive culture

change.

“The education initiative is a very exciting component of what we’re doing,” said Gray Stream, NHMSC board chairman. “Hopefully,

the education component will help save lives and property.”

The donation matches the earmarked $75,000 given by Pinnacle Entertainment in 2012.

On the capital side, efforts to raise funds for the $70 million museum have reached about $14 million in dedicated funds,

Stream said. In addition, there is $28 million in priority 5 capital outlay funding. Priority 5 projects can get non-cash

lines of credit or eventually be moved to a higher priority.

“All that is going to have to be basically sewn up with some major leads that we’re working on,” Stream said. “We’ll know

within a year on the capital side if those major leads come together.”

The NHMSC aspires to be a national educational hub using severe weather and coastal restoration and protection as powerful

motivational themes to teach math and science, according to its website.

The museum expects to attract 220,000 visitors per year with a $63 million total annual economic impact to the region.

Online: www.nhmsc.com.