Fundraiser Held for Teagarden Museum

(VERNON, TX) The first public fundraiser for the Jack Teagarden Museum project was “an unqualified success,” said Executive Director Mark Farr-Nash. Held last Tuesday, April 14th, at the Vernon Plaza Theater, fans and supporters for the museum were treated to a special screening of “It’s Time for T,” a documentary on the life of Jack Teagarden by the late Joe Showler.

“This fundraiser was necessary for a couple of reason,” said Farr-Nash. “First off, there are a number of folks who don’t know that much about Teagarden’s life and times. Watching this documentary was a great way to catch up. Also, all of the archival footage of Jack playing his horn, all of the music, the stills, the record labels, everything shown in the documentary actually came from the Showler collection. So, it’s also a great preview of what we are trying to bring to Vernon.”

Also present at the fundraiser were architectural blueprints of the proposed remodel of the building at 1922 Wilbarger Street, rendered by local architect Don Wilson. “Don’s vision is great,” said Farr-Nash. “He’s been around and he knows what kind of high class presentation we’re aiming for, and we’re just thrilled to be working with him on this project.”  Farr-Nash added that renovation on the building has already begun with the replacement of the roof which was damaged in the windstorms last year, followed by the installation of new windows on the front side of the building facing Wilbarger.

Monies collected from the fundraiser will be used to establish an internet presence with a website that fans from around the world can access to read on the museum’s progress and also donate money.  “Ever since the announcement,” Farr-Nash said, “I’ve gotten a number of emails from around the world, asking questions and offering donations. Now we’ll be able to take them, and also keep out of town folks in the loop.”

The fundraiser on Tuesday night also rolled out a new strategy in the form of pledge cards: The museum is selling 175 lifetime memberships for $1,000, all of which is applied to acquiring the Joe Showler Collection. “It’s so important to get this archive and bring it in to Vernon before the June 30th deadline,” said Farr-Nash. “We’ve got one shot at a Jack Teagarden museum, and a first-class one, at that, but it begins and ends with getting control of the materials to actually make the museum in the first place.” The monies pledged to become a lifetime member of the Teagarden Museum need not be paid all at once. “As long as we have the thousand by the end of June, that’s all that matters,” said Farr-Nash. “It comes down to this,” he said, “people who want to make this museum happen will contribute. They just have to. This is their one chance to make a positive change for Vernon and see tangible results. Without individual contributions from citizens and businesses to bolster the fund, we’re going to be in trouble. With individual contributions, we can get it done.”

Farr-Nash expects the website to be up in the next two to four weeks. “We’ll also have pledge cards to download, and a paypal link on the website.”

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