Thanks to you and our other generous donors, your Museum has gotten through the most difficult year any of us can remember. COVID-19 required us to close from March through late June. Even after we reopened, it was not possible to resume “business as usual.” Health requirements limited the number of visitors we could admit. Most of our major fund-raising activities, such as receptions, special events, Night at the Museum, and Autos and Ales, were impossible to hold because of these limits.
We responded to these challenges by cutting expenses to the bone, to make sure we remained on solid financial footing. Regretfully, we furloughed several valuable employees, but the remaining staff is working tirelessly — along with our wonderful volunteers — to get the job done. While our revenue declined, our expenses were cut by a similar amount, so we should end 2020 in much better financial health than most of our peer museums. The support we received from our donors and members was heartwarming and showed how much you care about the Museum. I wish it was possible to thank every one of you in person.
As we look ahead to 2021, our crystal ball is cloudy. There is new hope for a vaccine that will protect against COVID-19, but realistically it will take months before enough people receive it to declare victory. Estimates vary, but it is likely that the current restrictions will continue through much of next year.
In the meantime, we continue to keep our exhibits fresh and interesting. Our current exhibits will be on display until April 23, 2021. They include an exhibit on Hemi-powered cars that will delight and educate even the most knowledgeable car buffs. Come and see them if you can — you’ll be glad you did.
To keep up the progress despite the uncertainties, we must again ask for your support. Please include the Museum in your year-end philanthropy. There are many ways to give, including contributions of cash or appreciated securities, direct gifts from retirement plans, and contributions to “adopt” a car or to buy a brick.
For your convenience, visit our donation page to make your year-end gift. Your gift, regardless of amount, will help us preserve this legacy for all those who treasure the history of the automobile.
Richard P. Sills
President, Board of Directors