The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

April 3, 2014

Leonardo's honors volunteers at annual dinner

ENID, Okla. — Leonardo’s Children’s Museum was a busy place in 2013.

The hands-on science museum welcomed nearly 90,000 guests from 43 states, eight foreign countries and 45 Oklahoma counties last year, Executive Director Julie Baird said in her annual report Thursday evening as part of Leonardo’s annual awards dinner and auction.

“Not every year has that really big moment, like the 1 millionth child in 2010 or giving away the car for our 16th birthday in 2011,” Baird said. “But several important milestones were achieved in 2013. We opened the first new permanent exhibit, Tinkering @ Leonardo’s in March, completed some major renovation projects at Adventure Quest during the summer, and were approved for a CDBG public facilities grant, leading to the complete renovation of first floor restrooms, which opened last month.

“We also taught more than 950 hours of art and science education, and continued steady progress toward our capital campaign goals,” Baird said. “Even more importantly, we gave back to our community more than $85,000, providing museum and program access for low-income children and families.”

One purpose of Thursday’s event was to honor the people who had distinguished service in 2013. Award winners were Rachael Killam, Junior Volunteer of the Year; Susan Bowers, Volunteer of the Year; Visit Enid/ECVB, Friend of Leonardo’s; and Enid Public Schools, Leonardo’s Legacy — given for more than a decade of support.

“Leonardo’s had 248 unduplicated volunteers last year, providing more than 5,450 hours of service,” Baird said. “As always I am humbled and inspired by the many individuals who give of their time, their talents and their money to keep Leonardo’s moving forward each year.”

The other focus of the evening was to raise funds for the 2014 scholarship program by way of a silent and live auction. More than $19,000 worth of merchandise was donated by area residents and businesses. Auction coordinator Jessica Hess and Leonardo’s board members also secured items such as Oklahoma City Thunder, an OSU football and an OU basketball and St. Louis Cardinals tickets, as well as a week’s vacation at a cabin in Taos, N.M., portrait packages, golf packages, concert tickets and much more. The auction netted a new record of $18,600 for the scholarship fund. Lippard Auctioneers volunteered time to conduct the charity auction.

Table sponsors for the event were AdvancePierre Foods; city of Enid; Corbin & Merz Architects; Craig and Teresa Vance; Daron Rudy; Envirotech Engineering; Ewbank, Hennigh & McVay Law Firm; Hiland Partners; John and Susan Bowers; Johnston Enterprises; KGWA/KOFM Radio/Williams Broadcasting; Larry and Marilyn Jenkins; Mark and Kim Zaloudek; McDonald’s of Enid; Scott and Christy Northcutt; Northwest Pediatrics; Oklahoma Gas & Electric; Park Avenue Thrift; Troy and Jill (580) 233-2787.

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