Vets Museum seeks donation match from county

PARKERSBURG – Gary Farris, director of the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley, told Wood County commissioners the museum is running out of space and a larger facility is needed.

The museum at 1829 Seventh St. offers more than 1,700 square feet of displays, exhibits and memorabilia honoring veterans of all services from World War I to the present. Tours of the museum are available.

“The museum is keeping veterans profile higher in the Mid-Ohio Valley. We have a fundraising going on. We are trying to increase membership. Any veteran can join the museum, and you get a free hat when you join the organization,” said Ron Salter, veteran museum board president.

Farris explained the need for a larger facility to the commission.

“Our storage area is completely full. We are to the point where we may have to refuse new donations because we just don’t have anywhere to put them. The museum is packed. We need a larger building. We’ve been working on that for a long time. We have put away $23,000 toward a building project. That money is never touched; it’s strictly for the building project. That’s what David (Huffman) is doing, and we are here today asking the county commission to match what he donated,” Farris said.

On Veterans Day, Huffman proposed to donate $5,000 to be matched by the county commission for the building fund. In a letter to the commissioners, Huffman said he presented a similar challenge to Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell about matching the donation as well.

“As a veteran myself, after the battles are over; all we have left are our memories,” Huffman told the commission.

“We’ve always supported you in the past. We gave you funds for your alarm system,” Commissioner Steve Gainer said.

The commissioners took no action on the request during Monday’s meeting, tabling it to next week at which time they said they will make a decision.

The commission donated $3,200 from county video lottery proceeds earlier to help the museum purchase an improve security system after a breaking and entering. A number of artifacts were taken from the museum in the break-in.