The National Mounted Warfare Foundation received a $5 million donation from an anonymous local supporter to help fund the construction of the proposed museum, foundation officials announced Monday morning.
“We are very grateful for this individual and their leadership gift,” said retired Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, president and CEO of the foundation tasked with planning, designing, fundraising, building and operating the state-of-the-art Mounted Warrior Museum.
Slated for completion in 2019, phase one of the 66,000-square-foot museum will be located just outside the main gate to Fort Hood. This gift helps keep the foundation on target to reach the opening date, said Bob Crouch, foundation vice president.
Another $21 million is needed to fully fund phase one, Crouch said. The total cost of phase one is $27.7 million.
“This gift is significant for our project — a project that is of vital importance to the Central Texas region. The Mounted Warrior Museum will become a destination activity that will attract visitors from across Texas and around the country.”
The foundation estimates more than 300,000 people a year would travel to Killeen to visit the museum. Receiving such a large donation from a local supporter shows the community’s desire for the project, Crouch said.
“We think it shows a vote of confidence in our plans and in the project,” he said. “It also opens the door to look outside the community as well.”
One of the major goals of the foundation this year is to spread the word about the museum outside of Central Texas and across the state.
“We are confident this leadership (donation) will help us attract other supporters and donors and encourage the community as a whole to embrace this great project,” Funk said.
Aside from 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, an outdoor playscape is also planned for phase one. Future phases include a walking trail and outdoor amphitheater.
Learn more about the museum at www.nmwfoundation.org.
Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at email@example.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.