While Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) earns approximately 60% of its revenue from our own business units (such as the Livery Barn Restaurant, Village Books and Gifts, MHV facility rentals, and admission sales), the remaining 40% of our expense budget must be covered through fundraising efforts. Additional revenue is generated through grant applications, specific fundraising events (like our Heritage Classic Golf Tournament, Supper From the Field, and waffle sales at Summer in the City), and through individual and corporate donations.
Canada has more than 85,000 registered charities, in addition to all the unregistered groups like sports teams and school classes who sell chocolates, magazine subscriptions and grocery gift cards. So there is obviously a lot of competition for charitable dollars.
Charities which feed the hungry, heal the sick, or save lost souls readily pull at our heart strings, and rightly so. Many other less emotionally appealing organizations also do very important work. We have no interest in debating, or even trying to determine, whose work is most important.
Although MHV does not provide any of those critical services described above, we do carry out important work. As a museum, we preserve and interpret culture, which helps us to remember how we got to this place, this country, this environment of freedom and prosperity. Can we even imagine living in a community where heritage is not valued and culture is not preserved? How would we remember both the successes and the failures of our forebears and learn the things that those ups and downs can teach us? How would we pass along to our children these important lessons from history and engender in them a propensity to place value on understanding our past? How shallow would our lives be if we were preoccupied only with our present and our future? To be sure, we do need balance.
MHV also does important work as a local tourist destination. Every year we welcome visitors from all across Canada, from more than half of the American states, and from more than 50 other countries. It would be interesting to know how many of these tourists would venture off the Trans-Canada Highway and come to Steinbach were it not for this museum. It would also be interesting to know how many dollars each of these tourists spends in our community before returning to the Trans-Canada Highway and continuing their travels. We believe the economic impact of having this museum located in our community is significant.
During the next few weeks, MHV will be embarking on a new and significant fundraising project. In addition to the usual levels of support for the museum, we will be inviting the public to participate in funding for several vital and substantial projects. We will encourage donations and pledges of support for key initiatives that will help us build foundations for a strong future - a strong future for both our museum and our community.
September 9 is the date of our Heritage Classic Golf Tournament. This year it takes place at The Links at Quarry Oaks. Tee-off time is 12:00, and lunch and dinner are included. Call Patricia at 204-326-9661 to register.
Calendar of Events
September 7 – Fall on the Farm (10:00-5:00)
September 9 – Heritage Classic Golf Tournament (12:00 Noon tee-off)
September 20 – Supper From the Field