Annual Bayou Dorcheat Historical Museum gala slated for Sept. 12

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The Dorcheat Historical Museum is preparing to host its biggest fundraiser of the year, the 2016 Gala.

Set for Monday, Sept. 12, at the museum, this year’s event is the eighth annual gala. In 2015, the fundraiser brought in more than $30,000 and was attended by nearly 150 guests.

The theme this year is “History in the Making.” Tickets are $25 per person.

Guests will have dinner and participate in a silent auction. Folk artist Cora Lou Robinson is in the process of painting yet another new original painting for the event. Museum Director Schelley Francis says Robinson’s paintings have been a highlight at past auctions, bringing in thousands of dollars each year.

The painting will highlight Minden’s love for God and Country. Other artists have also contacted museum board members about donating original works.

“We are so fortunate to have the support of so many people from far and wide,” Francis said. “We are pleased with our progress, and we know we couldn’t do any of it without so many generous friends and supporters of the museum.”

She says the museum has hosted hundreds of visitors this year from all over the country and overseas as well.

“People are seeing our museum commercials on TV, large billboards and ads in area publications,” she said. “The museum has been a place for other museum officials to gather advice and knowledge for their own museums. Genealogy research has been a big part of what we have assisted with this year.”

Francis says they have taken a conservative stance on spending to insure the museum will continue for many years into the future.

“It took many years of hard work and perseverance to get where we are today,” she said. “We will never jeopardize that accomplishment. Holding on to what we have built up since 2007 is the most important thing. We have had many people to be thankful for in this process.”

The money raised will go directly back into the museum. Money was raised to purchase the building in 2013, and expansion plans are underway, and Francis feels this project will take place as the money becomes available. The funds raised in the past have gone to a new roof and front, as well as some items on the inside of the building.

“Plans for any renovations and upgrading of this building will take place as money is specifically raised for this long-term project,” she said.

Another way the museum brings in revenue is through the media/theater room by offering the facility to others. They rent part of the museum for meetings, reunions or parties. It also has the added benefit of a theater system for PowerPoint or video presentations.

Board members include: Becky Marvin, Janice Mourad, Cora Lou Robinson, Louise Snook, and Kay Elzen, Janet LaBruyere, Ann Harlan, Charlotte Martin, Dianne McGuire, Jo McCullough, Charlotte Jones and Mary Ann Hamilton, Marcel Vandenoord, Richard Campbell, John Agan, Dr. Roy Phillips, Carleton Prothro and Ben Baldwin.

To donate a service or item for the auction, call Francis at 377-3002 or visit the museum.

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