Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Fri, Nov. 15

Railroad museum get $1,000 donation

The Arizona State Railroad Museum is still in the planning stage but is well on its way to becoming a reality, said Al Richmond, president of the Arizona State Railroad Museum Foundation.

"The mission of the Arizona State Railroad Museum is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit historic and cultural artifacts relating to the railroad history, development and heritage of Arizona," the museums' mission statement reads.

The museum is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation that will include interactive displays with interpretations that will emphasize culture rather than technology. The site for the museum sits across from the depot on Grand Canyon Boulevard and has been donated by Max and Thelma Biegert, owners of the Grand Canyon Railway.

Richmond said the last big hurtle to overcome before the museum can be started is raising $150,000. To help start the fund raising process Banker’s Real Estate has stepped in.

"Other than Max and Thelma Biegert, who donated the 15-acres of land for the museum, Rich and Helen Gorney of Banker’s Real Estate are the first members of the Williams business community to step forward with a substantial investment ($1,000) in the future of Williams," Richmond said. "We are instituting a shareholder program whereby for a gift of $1,000 or more, local businesses or individuals will participate in the groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies and special events."

All donations are tax deduc-tible, Richmond said.

Once the museum is up and running Richmond said the proceeds will be used to pay back construction debts, will be used to reinvest in the museum for capital improvements and to invest in community improvements through grants.

"No individuals or companies will benefit from these profits," Richmond said. "Businesses in northern Arizona communities will benefit substantially due to increased visitation (200,000-plus) created by the museum."

Local, county, state and federal governments will also see annual revenue growth due to increased visitation, Richmond said. He said he’s really excited about breaking ground and hopes the northern Arizona community will keep the ball rolling by stepping forward and investing in Williams and the future.

For more information, call Richmond at 523-7209.

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