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Newsletters — Past Issues 2008

Southern Colorado Space Museum & Learning Center

Newsletter #7

More progress has been made since our last newsletter (see below) came out, but first we want to recap some of the things that happened since the beginning of 2008.

We attended the 24th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. This is the world’s largest gathering of space-related companies. A total of 23 different companies agreed to offer some kind of assistance once the museum is ready to open.

The museum was offered a full-scale mock up of a Mercury space capsule, that is built for us right now. We will also be receiving a Space Command Officer's uniform. We are looking for the donation of an adult size male mannequin to display it on. We were also gifted hundreds of Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines for the Reference Room.

The first big milestone in 2008 was receiving our 501(c)3 rating from the IRS. This allows us to receive contributions and hand out tax deductible receipts for them. We can also apply for grant money to help move the museum along. Perhaps we will be able to apply for a grant or two during 2009.

Also in 2008 we were chosen by NASA to receive a Space Shuttle tire, one of only 30 that they decided to send out to organizations throughout the country. The one we have has actually been flown in space aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis; mission STS-106, to the International Space Station (ISS) in September of 2000. By choosing us to get this tire, NASA acknowledged us as an up and coming institution with a mission worth working towards.

In October we held our first fundraising event, a three-day yard sale where we sold hundreds of high quality items that were donated by generous people throughout the community. Despite the awful weather with rain and wind most of the time, we were able to make almost $1,200! People came from all over the county to pick up some great deals, see the Space Shuttle tire that we had on display and drop donations into the Giant Rocket Bank. We could not have accomplished such a feat without your help. Thanks to everyone who donated items for the sale, bought items at the sale, helped out during the sale or donated cash into the Rocket Bank.

We have just started a mega letter writing campaign, where we will be sending out requests to almost 600 people in the space community throughout the world, asking them to send autographed photos for the ‘Wall of Fame’ that will be featured in the museum. Even though we have only just begun, the photos have started to arrive. It looks like the ‘Wall of Fame’ should be a big success. Our goal is to eventually have one of the most complete collections of autographed photos ever compiled.

We have just received 42 more autographed photos from a private collector in Illinois who decided to help us out. It is that kind of support that really gives us a boost, even though we appreciate EVERY donation no matter how small. There are many ways that supporters can help out. Visit our website at <http://spacemuseum.skymtn.com/> and click on the ‘How Can You Help?’ button to see the many needs we have. Anything from office supplies to storage space to actual artifacts to put on display. And remember that all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS.

While you’re visiting our website, you can now meet the board of directors at the ‘Contact Us’ page. See the people behind the scenes who get all of the details accomplished.

So what will 2009 hold for the museum? That’s hard to say, with all of the problems with the economy and unemployment etc. We understand that it’s hard for some people to donate during times like these. But the only way that we can accomplish our mission is through the goodness of people and business’ that see it as a worthwhile cause.

We will of course be attending the 25th annual Space Symposium in April in an effort to gain more contacts with more companies in the space community.

We will continue to look for the right building. This is a multi-million dollar effort and the building we will need must be able to accommodate a huge number of artifacts, some of them quite huge themselves. So this is no small task and could take quite awhile.

We also hope to start taking the Giant Rocket Bank out to different locations throughout Southern Colorado for fundraising events.  In the spring we hope to hold another big yard sale, this time for two weekends instead of one.

Our next newsletter will be coming out around the end of April, 2009. We will then let you know how the first quarter of 2009 has treated us. We are already starting to collect high quality items for our next benefit yard sale. If you are in the area and have something to donate, feel free to drop me an e-mail at <museumcurator@hotmail.com> or call me at 719-783-0610 and we can try to arrange to pick up your donations.

Again I want to thank everyone for their support throughout the year and wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy, safe and prosperous 2009. You can always access past newsletters on our website. And as always, if you no longer wish to receive our newsletters, all you have to do is send an e-mail to the address above, with ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line. Until next time…..

Steve Janssen, Curator

Newsletter #6

 Our Space Shuttle tire has arrived from NASA! This tire was flown in space on the Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-106. This mission flew in Sept. of 2000 to the International Space Station. The main objective of the mission was to do maintenance on the station and deliver supplies just before it was to become occupied.  The tire itself is 44.5” tall and weighs over 200 lbs. We’ve had a display stand built for it and that’s how it will be displayed in the museum. Along with the tire display will be highlights of the mission, the crew and certain mission statistics.
               Shuttle tire

The other bit of news we want to share with you is the fundraising yard sale. On Sat. & Sun. Oct. 11th & 12th we will be holding our first yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the space museum. Over the past couple of months we have been gathering a lot of items from folks in the local area. A lot of the donated items are high quality with some brand new and still in the box. We have truck loads of things that will be up for sale. So if you live in Southern Colorado, you’re welcome to stop by. It will be located at 11851 County Rd. 255 just 12 miles north of Westcliffe.

We plan on making this an ongoing event a few times a year. So we will constantly be collecting items for the next sale. During this event we will have the Space Shuttle tire on display along with our Giant Rocket Bank and other artifacts. So even if you don’t care to purchase anything, you are more than welcome to drop by and see the displays and say hello.

We would like to thank the following people that have helped us out in any way since our last newsletter. 

  • Don B. of Canon City, CO.
  • Ed S. of Westcliffe, CO.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jim R. of Canon City, CO.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Lee S. of Canon City, CO.

Thanks for all of the support. We will send out another newsletter as things progress. You can see past newsletters here on our website.

If you care to contact us via mail, our address is:

Southern CO. Space Museum & Learning Center
  P.O. Box 204
  Westcliffe, CO. 81252

Or by e-mail at: <museumcurator@hotmail.com>

Newsletter #5

   A lot of great news comes with this newsletter. First of all, the waiting is over, we have received our 501c3 non-profit rating from the IRS! That means we can officially start our fundraising campaigns. A letter writing campaign is under way to ask corporate sponsors to help out by donating anything from office supplies to a vehicle and utility trailer that will be used to take the Giant Rocket Bank all over Southern Colorado. A picture of the bank can be seen on our website.

   Secondly, we are excited to announce that Scott T. from Spacecraft Replicas in Arizona has graciously offered to donate a full size replica of the Mercury space capsule! That will be the largest donation to date and we can’t wait to see it.

   Also, NASA has selected us to be awarded one of only 30 available Space Shuttle tires to be put on loan throughout the entire country. This tire will be loaned to us for a 3 year period and we can opt to request it for another 3 years after that. We are still in the process of filling out all of the government paperwork before it can be shipped.

   The United States Postal Service has also recognized us as a non-profit organization and has allowed us non-profit postal rates.

   We will be seeking out volunteers to help in many different areas of the museum once it opens but we could use some help right away with things like building models, helping out with the Giant Rocket Bank and other fundraising activities. If you have an interest in helping out in any way, send an e-mail to: museumcurator@hotmail.com

   Those wishing to help out financially can go to the museum website at http://spacemuseum.skymtn.com/ where we now have a Paypal button on the How Can I Help page. We also have a link to our Promo Fundraising page where we get donations from companies whenever someone tries out one of their products or services. Items like business cards from Vista Prints or offers from companies like Blockbuster, Sirius Satellite, Netflix, People PC or ‘As Seen On TV’. 

Anyone wishing to send a contribution by check can mail it to:

Southern Colorado Space Museum & Learning Center
  P.O. Box 204, Westcliffe, CO  81252

And a receipt will be mailed to you for your tax purposes.

   We will also be having a huge fundraising yard sale and could use items to sell. Again, all items donated are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt for any items donated. So if you live in the Westcliffe area and have something to donate just let us know.

   Of course we will always be on the lookout for items to display in the museum. Whether they be donated or displayed on loan. Contact us if you have any items you would like to see displayed.

   We would like to thank the following people who have contributed since our last newsletter and urge you to patronize our corporate sponsors.

PDQ Printing in Pueblo, CO.
  Billy M. of Westcliffe, CO.
  Les K. of Westcliffe, CO.
  John C. of Westcliffe, CO.
  Mr. & Mrs. Chris N. of Houston, TX.
  Mr. & Mrs. Kent M. of Westcliffe, CO.

   So a lot has happened in the past few months and we thank everyone for all of the support. Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to anyone that you think might be interested in our efforts. And if someone has passed this on to you and you would like to receive future newsletters, just send an e-mail to museumcurator@hotmail.com and we will add you to our list. And as always, if you do not want to receive our newsletters any more just drop us an e-mail with ‘remove’ in the subject line and your name will be taken off our list immediately.

   We have a lot more in the works and we will get you up to date in the next newsletter.


Newsletter #4

   Greetings to all of our supporters and thanks for your patience in between these newsletters. We continue to play the waiting game when it comes to the 501c3 paperwork. First we had to wait a couple of months for The Foundation Group to compile and fill out all of the needed forms. But they filled out everything to the letter and now we wait for the IRS to review all 57 pages. That could take them anywhere from 2–6 months! Once we are granted our 501c3 rating we will see things start to happen rapidly.

   While we were waiting for the paperwork to be filled out, we made great progress in some other areas. We have put together a very talented and diverse Board of Directors that meets monthly. You will meet them in a future newsletter. In April we attended the 24th National Space Symposium held at the Broadmore in Colorado Springs. This is the largest gathering of space related companies in the world! While we were there, we talked with 23 different companies that agreed to help us out once we are up and running.

   Speaking of helping us out, we would like to take a moment to thank the following people that have been kind enough to donate to our cause, either with cash or physical donations (such as artifacts or equipment) or both. Many thanks to:
   Laura C of Lakewood, Co.
   Oscar H of Huntsville, AL.
   Brent A of Dulles, VA.
   Les K of FL.
   Robert C of Westcliffe, CO.
   Mike & Jan B of CO.
   Kelly C of Westcliffe, CO.

We appreciate every donation no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

 While you’re at the website, click here on the new page 2 the Artifact Collection to see five new items that we’ve added . We’ll keep adding five new items with each newsletter.

   As soon as the IRS gives us the ‘go ahead’, we will be starting a number of fundraising campaigns. We are always open to new ideas, questions or comments so don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks for all of your support and we will keep you posted.
     Steve Janssen  <museumcurator@hotmail.com>

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