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Did You Know...
From Rail & Wire Issue 162, November 1996

by Peter Schmidt

...that the Illinois Railway Museum depends on its members and friends to finance virtually all its capital projects and new equipment acquisitions through donations? Revenues generated from our fifty-four thousand paid visitors are sufficient only to cover maintenance, insurance, mortgage payments and daily operations. But improvements to our site and collection are critical to make IRM a first class railway museum operated by volunteers. In recent years we have seen governments fund a series of lesser quality collections at great cost. IRM doesn't receive this type of government grant. But when it receives donations, it gets far more bang for the buck than a bureaucratic institution gets. This it because it also gets the frugal personal involvement of the more than 150 active volunteer workers. At this time of the year, we know that you receive similar pleas from all sorts of charities. This year think especially of railroad preservation efforts, particularly the Illinois Railway Museum. The list on the enclosed page will give some idea of our current needs.

The General Fund is always in need, as it is from here that monies can be directed to various projects as the specific need arises. A fund of particular importance is the Land Fund. IRM has had to buy a substantial amount of land in recent years to buffer us from the potential onslaught of suburbia, and the sooner this is paid off the sooner we can redivert those monthly mortgage payments to other projects. And then there are several other current needs for specific Equipment Acquisitions. Of course, feel free to donate to any other active cause. IRM has a fund for nearly every one. We thank you for your continued support of the Illinois Railway Museum. And we hope that you will give us that extra donation as you renew your membership.

From the Rail & Wire Issue 162, November 1996

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