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Director's Report July, 2003
Fundraising Campaign Update:One of the highlights of the Legacy Campaign in the past few weeks has to be the June 28th marriage of Campaign Manager Sara Groves. Congratulations! Sara and her new husband Brent spent a two-week honeymoon exploring the Pacific Northwest in early July. Not sure if Sara found any prospects for the campaign however?! The Campaign’s new office manger, Mary Asbach started work full time on Monday, July 21st. The Campaign continues to move forward as a Montana-based corporation made a $100,000 pledge this month! Total pledges are edging ever closer to the $1M level.
- Publicity Update:
- I was asked to write an article for Harlowton’s Times Clarion newspaper in support of local efforts to keep the Bair Museum open. My article, entitled “Lewis & Clark Meet Charles M. Bair” attempted to make the connection that the anticipated increase in Lewis & Clark visitation may well become new visitors to the museum. History buffs may like to learn about Montana’s early sheep ranching history as well as Lewis & Clark.
- I worked with an Oregonian newspaper reporter to schedule a trip through Montana in mid-August.
- Throughout this month Rita and I worked to put the final touches on Montana’s Fifth Annual Lewis & Clark Conference. “Mark Your Calendar” postcards were sent out (the Commission meeting and conference is October 1-2-3, 2003). Registration materials will be sent within the next two weeks. This year’s conference is being co-sponsored by the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA), and the Missouri Breaks Regional Bicentennial Commission. The Lewis & Clark Honor Guard will join MTTA in presenting an encampment on Thursday afternoon, October 2nd. Corridor sharing sessions will be scheduled during this year’s conference to allow regional commissions and Tribal groups an opportunity to meet, share and discuss planning efforts.
- Qwest finalized its commitment to partner with the Watercourse, MSU, to print the new and expanded version of the Lewis & Clark Educators Resource Guide. Through this new partnership, schools and public libraries will once again receive complimentary copies of this acclaimed resource directory. Thanks to Rick Hays, Montana State President of Qwest, and to Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer at the Watercourse!
- I traveled to Missoula on July 7th for a wrap-up meeting of the Confluence of Cultures Steering Committee. The symposium evaluations that were completed were very positive. During the meeting it was discussed that possibly this should not be a one-time occurrence, and that perhaps the funds left over from the 2003 symposium should be invested in a long-range plan to encou+rage Indian research, setting the foundation for an encore symposium in 2005. That option is currently being pursued within the UofM administration.
- While in Missoula on the 7th I also presented a training session for Travel Montana’s Call Center counselors. It is very apparent that more of an on-going training effort is necessary to enable these folks to provide accurate and timely information to potential visitors re: Lewis & Clark events and attractions.
- On Saturday, July 12th I participated in a fun golf tournament in Helena. I won the shortest drive award; was second closest to the pin on hole #8; and was a proud member of the last place team! Maybe I shouldn’t quit my day job?? (just want to see if anyone reads these monthly reports??)
- On July 14th I made a Bicentennial presentation to the Military Affairs Committee at Fort Harrison. It is possible that this committee may become more involved in Helena-area Lewis & Clark activities as the Bicentennial continues.
NOTE: The Military Museum located at Fort Harrison does have a very nice Lewis & Clark exhibit designed by Helena artist, Bob Morgan.
- The Montana Department of Transportation has finalized its offer to place new Gateway Interpretive Signs in 13 additional rest areas around the state. The signs and installation stands have been ordered. A fall date has been identified for these new signs to be installed. Funding for this project is coming from some un-claimed National Park Service Challenge Cost Share funds from Fiscal Year 2001.
- On Tuesday, July 15th I participated with the Lewis & Clark County Bicentennial Commission in their community open house. Specifically this county group was wanting to hear from various community members and groups re: ideas they might have for events during the time that Corps II would be hosted in Helena (mid-July of ’05). Some very exciting ideas were shared. This approach would be worthwhile repeating all along the Montana trail in the near future.
- Carol McBryant, the Logistics Coordinator for the Corps of Discovery II, and I finally connected via a phone call on Thursday, July 17th. With I think possibly one location timeframe not completely finalized, the National Park Service is about to announce that Montana will have 18 host locations for Corps II in 2005 and 2006. Carol is planning to once again attend our Fall Conference to show actual footage of Corps II in action. On July 17th it was set up in Hannibal, OH.
- On Friday, July 18th I accepted an invitation from Margaret Gorski to join her and three of her USFS colleagues on a day-long driving tour of the Lolo Motorway. We toured the eastern portion of the trail in Montana, and about 25-30 miles of the Idaho segment. We were literally “on the trail” as the roadway crisscrossed the ridge trail in numerous locations, and we took some short hikes away from the roadway where the trail was still very visible through the rocks, trees and grass. Truly a memorable experience, but I would suggest that travelers on this segment of the Lewis & Clark Trail not go in a passenger car as the road is un-improved, with little on-going maintenance.
- I met with two Office of Public Education (OPI) employees on July 22nd in an effort to re-engage OPI in the Education Committee of the Commission. They agreed to participate with the state Commission, and specifically will work to distribute the information re: the Education Initiative of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri, to teachers throughout Montana.
- And, I’m taking the last week of July as some vacation time………and am committed to think of anything BUT Lewis & Clark during that time!
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