Help save a local museum with “Raise The Roof” campaign

Snow, ice, and single digit temperatures are all distant memories for most people now, but a local museum is still dealing with damage left over from winter storms. It’s a problem putting their collection at risk, and there is potential loss for the community if the museum is forced to close.

The Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum has been called the best kept secret in Crittenden County, but right now they’re caught in between a rock and a hard place. Humidifiers hum next to display cases, and some are even tarped because of a problem that’s seeping in from the roof.

Museum Director Tina Walker said, “We had water leaking, so we threw a bucket up there to catch it.” Though it may not be the first thing that catches your eye, there is water damage threatening the displays. “Seeing all this damage, and it was like… What can be done,” said museum member Heather P’Pool.

The P’Pool family stepped up to help organize a fundraising effort. Heather said, “When we seen (sic) how much they had to raise to get their roof fixed and whatnot, it became a personal cause.”

Bill Frazer is the museum’s board chair and said a new roof to protect their collection of fossils, rocks, and even fluorescent minerals from local mines will cost $50,000. “We’re still far short from our goal,” said Frazer, so, they’re trying to get the word out about the history, education, and fun the museum has to offer. They’re hoping people will help them dig in for the long haul and keep the museum from having to close. P’Pool said, “Then, the community doesn’t benefit from seeing them. They don’t learn any of the history of the local mines, and the community loses out.”

There are even more rocks and minerals the museum can’t display until they find a fix for their roof problem. If the museum is forced to close, the collection will revert back to the Clement family.

Anyone can make a donation to the “Raise The Roof” campaign by visiting the museum or mailing a donation to:
Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum
P.O. Box 391 Marion, KY 42064

They are also working to set up a GoFundMe account.

The annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil, and Jewelry show is scheduled for the first weekend in June.


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