By Debra Downey, Senior Editor
The Fieldcote expansion campaign got a jumpstart on fundraising initiatives this week when the Ancaster Odd Fellows handed over a cheque for $5,000.
Curator Lois Corey said the Odd Fellows’ generous contribution will be pooled with other donations in an attempt to raise $500,000, one third of the expansion project’s cost.
“Our fundraising is really just beginning, so the Odd Fellows donation is a great kickstart to the campaign,” said Corey.
Fieldcote’s expansion will retain the museum’s Tudor-style façade with additions along the east, west and north sides of the building. The project includes making the facility accessible and adding a kitchen, washrooms, archive space, a meeting room for 45 people, a rotating exhibition area and a permanent home for a display on the history of Ancaster.
Corey said space for a permanent exhibition on Ancaster’s history is one of the more important aspects of the plan.
“We have acquired a large collection of artifacts, which people don’t know about — about 7,000 artifacts — that we would be able to bring out and showcase, from ceramics to furniture, to clothing and quilts. Right now, it’s sad, but it’s pretty much all in storage. A permanent exhibition space would allow us to display key artifacts.”
The museum’s fundraising campaign will follow a formula similar to the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre expansion, which received community contributions that were matched by government. The goal, said Corey, is to have the project completed during Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017.
The Fieldcote fundraising initiative hasn’t been officially launched, but the Odd Fellows wanted to make a donation to celebrate their 140 anniversary in Ancaster, said Corey.
“They approached us, so we look on it as a great kickoff,” she said.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded in Ancaster on April 14, 1874. During its long history in town the Odd Fellows have always been good, community-minded citizens. They have handed out literally hundreds of pine treelings, donated to eye care research and the arthritis society, taken part in the Heritage Days parade and partnered with the town to erect a millennial clock. The Odd Fellows also recently hosted the first IOOF Ride and Shine Charity Motorcycle Ride and Car Show at Bishop Tonnos. The event raised $4,000 for Camp Trillium.
Lodge 138 also supports Ancaster Community Services, Neighbour to Neighbour, Victorian Order of Nurses, the Salvation Army, CHML Tree of Hope and Mission Services, among others.
The group meets the first and third Mondays at 7:30 p.m. from September through to June, Seymour Lodge, 419 Wilson St. To find out more, visit www.ioofancaster138.com or www.ioofrideandshine.com.