The National Mounted Warfare Foundation is using the new year to expand its fundraising efforts across the state as it continues toward building a museum outside Fort Hood’s main gate.
“2014 has always been seen as the real first big year of the capital campaign,” said retired Col. Larry Phelps, chief of staff and senior vice president for business development for the foundation.
The foundation was formed in 2011 with one goal — build a world-class Mounted Warfare Museum that could draw up to 300,000 people each year.
So far, the project has been endorsed by everyone from retired generals to Gov. Rick Perry to a former Killeen mayor. About $2.5 million has been raised so far, Phelps said.
“We’re in the process of building relationships so people understand they have the ability to contribute to something to honor and serve soldiers, and also educate generations to come, and we’ll do that in our own state,” he said.
Eye on target
The foundation is hoping to raise $7 million this year to keep it on target with breaking ground on phase one of the museum in 2017 and opening it in 2019. The entire first phase is projected to cost $27.7 million. There are two additional phases to the project, including a park and storage facility.
Last month, the foundation announced it received a $50,000 grant from the Houston-based Albert and Ethel Herzstein Foundation — its first from a funding foundation, said retired Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, president and CEO of the warfare foundation.
Phelps said this grant not only helps with fundraising, but also builds the foundation’s reputation.
“The Herzstein grant is huge ... because it sends a signal to other foundations that we’re confident this is a good project,” he said.
While Phelps will continue to seek out large statewide funding this year, he said other means of fundraising at the local level will also stay in place.