Posted Dec. 3, 2007 – The National Slavery Museum is on life support.
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In 2005, following pleas from entertainer Bill Cosby, who is on the board of the Fredericksburg-based museum, donations totaled $938,186. Last year, however, contributions declined by more than a half-million dollars, to $383,582, The Free Lance-Star reported.
The 2006 total includes earnings and donations from a star-studded gala, which featured Ben Vereen and Cosby, who last year asked Americans to give $8, symbolic in that the shape of the number resembles the shackles that bound slaves.
"We are confident of our efforts and everyone at the museum is working very hard to continue the fundraising efforts," he said. But the museum spent more last year than it pulled in – with expenditures exceeding revenues by $158,978.
So far, about $50 million in pledges and donations have been collected, officials say. The grand opening of the $150 million museum, which is about 50 minutes south of Washington, D.C., is now pegged for 2009 or 2010, according to the museum Executive Director Vonita Foster, the Free Lance-Star reports.
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