Museum's High School Auto Restoration Program
Receives Matching Grante
HICKORY CORNERS, MI
Although the Gilmore Car Museum began its newest educational venture is only a month ago significant support for the Gilmore Garage Works is already being seen. The Collectors Foundation, an educational grant-making organization founded by Hagerty Insurance, of Traverse City, MI has just announced a matching grant of $15,000 toward the program.
On October 1, 2009 the non-profit Gilmore Car Museum near Kalamazoo, MI launched the new project that matches adult mentors with area high school students for an after-school course in automotive preservation, conservation, and restoration.
Initially, five mentors and seven students began the class but those numbers have also grown. Currently a dozen mentors and ten students have begun the restoration of a 1931 Willys-Knight touring car.
The Collectors Foundation, the nation's premier philanthropic organization focusing on the collector vehicle and classic boat hobbies, is funded by collectors and hobbyists. Given the mission to serve youth development and the long-term interest of the hobby, the Foundation believes the new Gilmore Garage Works could be a model for similar programs nationwide.
Bob Knechel, Executive Director of the Collectors Foundation, reported that the foundation's board was unanimous in their support of the museum's new educational program.
"We are excited for this new outreach program to high school students and mentors," he said when presenting the museum with the $15,000 challenge grant.
An all-new restoration shop, provided by a generous gift of museum members Larry and Earlene Baum of Hastings, MI, is near completion and will allow the Gilmore Car Museum to offer the program to more students and more school districts.
Following the Gilmore Car Museum's first class an anonymous donor stepped forward and has paid all student transportation costs for the next three years.
The museum has partnered with the Barry Intermediate School District, Michigan Works!, and the Barry County Community Foundation on the program and is working toward classroom accreditation.
To learn more about the Gilmore Car Museum or the Collectors Foundation visit GilmoreCarMuseum.org and CollectorsFoundation.org respectively