Museum offers new exhibit sponsorship program

Apr 23, 2024 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Catawba Island Historical Society: A Heritage Waypoints sponsorship plaque is mounted on an exhibit at Catawba Island’s Union Chapel Museum.

When the Union Chapel Museum first opened in 2018, one frequently asked question was whether opportunities could be made available to sponsor any of its display areas. Catawba Island Historical Society, which operates the museum, responded affirmatively by creating a program called Windows in Time. It offered naming rights for several exhibit panels in return for donor investments of $10,000 each, payable over four years.

The Windows in Time program has been fully subscribed thanks to the generous support and participation of museum patrons Thomas W. Barto and Family, the Mike and Debbi Bassett Family, John and Cindy Bolte, Alison Lanza Falls, Bob and Bill Kyle, Julene Market, David and Marsha Polus, the Quintin and Donna Smith Family, the Stouffer Family, Phillip and Carol Teitlebaum, the William and Darleen Van Der Giessen Family and the Zavagno Family.

However, according to Historical Society President, David Wonnell, requests for additional sponsorship options continue to be received. He advises that, in response, a new program called Heritage Waypoints has been launched. It incorporates the 16 large panels of the free-standing display kiosks in the museum’s main gallery.

Like Windows in Time, the acquisition cost of naming rights for a Heritage Waypoints panel is $10,000, payable over four years. Each selected panel is being identified in perpetuity with a hand-crafted black walnut plaque, a waypoint-inspired brass compass and sundial, and a tastefully inscribed owner’s commemoration plate.

“The program has caught on very quickly,” Wonnell said. “Five of the exhibit panels available for selection have already been chosen. The new sponsors include the Frye and Rofkar Families, Rick Hannon, the William Riat Family and the Kenneth and Bonnie Spero Family. The exhibits they picked look outstanding with the plaques mounted to acknowledge their interest in preserving and protecting the heritage of Catawba Island.”

Anyone who wants more information about establishing an enduring Heritage Waypoints tribute while simultaneously helping to fund the mission of the Catawba Island Historical Society can call Union Chapel Museum at 419-967-5363 or contact them online at

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May 2024

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