Thursday, July 9, 2009

Letters and Address

Hi, everyone.

First, for those of you have had difficulty in locating the address to send your donation, you can mail it to Friends at: PO Box 1752, Laramie, WY 82073, or directly to the Friends account at First Interstate Bank, 221 Ivinson, Laramie, WY, 82070. As a community organization, The Friends does not receive a cut and uses this money strictly for enhancing awareness and funding for the reopening of the museum.

We have had received some rough letters recently, one from a state legislator, another from the president of a regional oil company. The messages are disappointing: a promise not to get in touch with unviersity trustees about the decision to cut an entire scientifically and educationally valuable program; and a claim that while the respondent and company have contributed much money to the university over the years, this has been to other programs and to the general fund, rather than the Geological Museum and that since that respondent has no personal ties to the museum (despite being a CEO in the energy industry), there is no plan for the company to speak out against the closure.

While these words are disheartening, they do not reflect the tone of the visitors to our table at Freedom Has a Birthday; those who have written letters to the editors from an alumni, scientfic, educational, or community perspective; or those of you who have contacted Friends directly via other means.

To those of you who have asked if there is a way you can help, the answer is ABSOLUTELY. The Friends goal is to bring the museum back to life. In the meantime, while the process persists, you can spread the word to others who can contribute, including affected local businesses; donate money to the fund, time to events, and a public voice to the cause.

In response to this last suggestion, I would like to point out that while writing letters to trustees, the president and the provost of the university, and the governor and state legislators is helpful in keeping the cause alive, writing a letter to the editor will carry your voice to a large audience- not only those with whom you disagree about the decision, but those who also believe the museum is a crucial element of our Wyoming academic establishment. These people may in turn be stimulated to write a letter or donate to the fund, until we have succeeded.

Important at this time is the reminder to folks like the state legislator and the oil company executive, that AN ENTIRE PROGRAM BUDGET WAS CUT- a whole program that benefitted annually thousands of unversity students and professors, school groups, local citizens, travelers... While other programs lost employees and funding, which is certainly not forgotten, most were not closed down completely, like the museum was. In the cutting of 45 employees from the university payroll, 3% were the staff of the museum, while far below one percent was the amount of total university funding lost. Eighty-thousand dollars annually is a small budget that kept an important institution alive. We all are asking, of course, why?

But, regardless of the answer to that question, we are on the move; the wheels are turning, we have momentum, and we value the voices of those who have been hurt by the museum's closure. You can help by making your voice heard. No party lines here, just straight up real live people telling it like it is.

We are working on setting up shop, so to speak, at events like the Laramie Farmers Market and Arts in the Park. Do you know of an event that would welcome our presence? Please let us know by leaving a comment here or e-mailing We can't get everywhere right now, but we can keep our profile high and momentum in place.

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