Claremore Daily Progress

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May 14, 2014

WRM Foundation OKs project funding

CLAREMORE —

Projects for protection of the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch near Oologah will begin immediately with others at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum to start in coming weeks.
Will Rogers Memorial Foundation approved almost $70,000 to undertake several deferred needs proposed in a statement of capital and operational needs. 
A list of needs for the Birthplace Ranch and Will Rogers Memorial Museum were outlined for the Will Rogers Memorial Commission at their May 7 meeting. Jennifer Rogers Etcheverry, who represents the family on the Commission and Foundation, made a motion to take a list of needs to the Foundation meeting the next day.
“It is with great pride that the Will Rogers Memorial Foundation is able to contribute to the upkeep and vital repairs to both the Museum and the Birthplace,” said Steve Turnbo, Tulsa, Foundation president. “Today we begin doing what the Foundation was created to do.”
“Will Rogers, unquestionably Oklahoma's world renowned native son, deserves to be honored and remembered with a facility that is functional and operational,” he added. “While funds we are contributing might seem substantial, and are a start, they are a small dent in the costs of a proper renovation of the Museum,” Turnbo said.
He cited the heating and air conditioning system to replace one that is “old, worn out, and barely operational. That cost is anticipated to be $3 million,” he said.
Three of the projects, totalling $8,800  deal with protection of the Birthplace Ranch. 
Foremost on the list is a fire supression and alarm system to replace and upgrade the ranch fire sprinkler system and replace the alarm.
An inoperable video security system at the Ranch will be replaced, especially as it deals with the historic birthplace house.
Additional lighting will be installed in the barn with funds provided to purchase new fixtures and bulbs. Donated labor to install the new lighting has been offerered.

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