Growing up on a military base can have its share of challenges for children, including the stress of having a parent deployed. That’s why Boeing and the Employees Community Fund (ECF) of Boeing are providing a combined $1.5 million contribution for the creation of the world’s first children’s museum on a U.S. military base.
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma announced Tuesday it is launching the Play is on Base project, which will include the opening of a new satellite museum on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) near Tacoma, Wash.. Boeing is providing $1 million to fund program development and the creation of interactive, multi-faceted galleries tailored to military families with children experiencing special needs. ECF is providing an additional $500,000 to support the capital expenses of construction and installation of exhibit galleries.
“Boeing recognizes the unique value that service members, veterans, and military families bring to their jobs and our communities, and we are committed to supporting programs that address their needs,” said Bill McSherry, Commercial Airplanes vice president of Government Operations. “That’s why we are proud to partner with organizations like the Children’s Museum of Tacoma to launch its Play is on Base program for young learners at JBLM, many of whom are dealing with special needs, trauma, or parent deployment.” It is conservatively estimated that the JBLM satellite museum and programs will serve 30,000-50,000 people in its first year, with capacity to grow.
“The employees at Boeing are grateful for the service and sacrifice of the men and women in our armed forces,” said Patricia Meissner, ECF president. “The Employees Community Fund of Boeing recognizes the sacrifice of not only our servicemen and servicewomen, but that of their spouses and children as well.”
“The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is excited and humbled by the opportunity to open the first satellite museum of this kind, with the support our long-time partner, Boeing and their employees.” said Tanya Durand, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.
By Deborah Feldman