The Mountain Times

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Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum receives $10,000 matching gift from the Downtown Rutland Partnership

RUTLAND - On Tuesday at 12-noon, Myra Peffer, president of Wonderfeet's Board of Directors, and Chris Ettori, board member, accepted a check for $10,000 on behalf of Wonderfeet Kids' Museum. Mike Coppinger, executive director for the Downtown Rutland Partnership, presented the check at a press conference held at the museum's downtown location at 17 Center Street.
"This summer we made a pledge, we challenged Wonderfeet to raise $10,000 and we pledged to match $10,000… It is my pleasure to now present this check to Myra and Chris," said Coppinger.
Wonderfeet sprung out of a recognized community need three years ago. For six weeks in the summer of 2011, volunteers joined with Downtown Rutland Partnership to demonstrate the value of a children's museum during Friday Night Live and Saturday Farmers' Market. In the 30 hours it was open to the public, 1,737 visitors walked through the doors, demonstrating the expected success of a permanent facility. The success was again demonstrated in the summer of 2012, which lead to the opening of the semi-permanent location on Center Street.
After accepting the check, Peffer said "The $20,000 is designated for programs and exhibitions exclusively, 100 percent will go toward educational opportunities." Peffer outlines some of the partnerships already underway including a Junior First Lego League for 6-9-year-olds and a Motion Commotion field trip program for Pre-K - 2nd graders, which includes a partnership with Castleton State Colleges education department.
Peffer's final announcement was met with the loudest cheers from the crowd that gathered for the conference. She announced that Wonderfeet Kids' Museum will be expanding, it will nearly double in size by utilizing the upstairs of their current location, she said, adding that all this and other developments would not have been possible without the generosity of volunteers. "This whole organization is volunteer run and exists solely by the generosity of our community, individuals and businesses."
"It was a total community effort," Peffer said.
Wonderfeet Kids' Museum in downtown Rutland is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. located at 17 Center Street. It is geared toward ages 3 and up.
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