|Cortez, Fla. (April 25, 2014) – The Florida Maritime Museum (FMM) is pleased to be participating in the 2014 Giving Challenge. Taking place from noon on May 6 to noon on May 7, this 24-hour fundraising campaign encourages philanthropic support at all levels. Online donations made through www.givingpartnerchallenge.org will be matched up to $600,000.
FMM is using this opportunity to kick off fundraising for renovations to the historic Burton Store. The first commercial building in Cortez, and survivor of the 1921 hurricane, it is of important historical significance. Visitors ask daily about the structure and staff is eager to be able to open it to the public. Plans include collection storage, research library and multi-purpose educational space. Each $25 donation gets us one step closer to our goal of $85,000.
Museum Supervisor, Amara Nash, says, “The building has such an interesting and important history, we feel it is a priority to preserve it and make it available for public use.”
FMM is hosting a kickoff celebration from noon until 4 pm on Tuesday, May 6. Enjoy the Soupy Davis Band starting at noon. Extra computers will be available so that people can make donations on site. To visually track our progress we will be “furnishing” a dollhouse replica of the Burton Store. Free raffle tickets and door prizes awarded during regular museums hours. Come join the fun!
Matching funds and support are provided by:
The Community Foundation of Sarasota, The Patterson Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William Selby Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation
About the Florida Maritime Museum
The Museum is located at 4415 119th St. West at the corner of Cortez Road. Hours are Tues-Sat 9a.m. – 4p.m. and admission is always FREE.
Brief History of the Burton Store
The Burton Store was the first commercial building in the fishing village of Cortez. It housed a small general store, post office, and two guest rooms on the second floor. As the population of Cortez grew, so did the historic store. It eventually became the Albion Inn, a guesthouse and restaurant of high regard. The Albion Inn suffered damage in the 1921 hurricane, as did much of Cortez, but the original Burton Store was still standing, the only building on the waterfront to survive.
The US Coast Guard purchased the property in 1974 and, after twenty years, planned to tear the building down to build a new Coast Guard Station on the site. The citizens of Cortez rallied to save the original portion of the building, the Burton Store, and had it moved to the FMM campus. The first phase of renovation was completed in 2009, but the inside is still in need of significant work.