Letter from the President
Busy Times at the VHS
By Paul A. Levengood, President and Chief Executive Officer
Just a glance at pages 8 and 9 of this History Notes will show that autumn is upon us. This flurry of fall activity comes on the heels of one of our busiest summers ever. As you know, we offered free admission to the VHS in June, July, and August. We did this as a gesture of goodwill to those who have served our nation in the military and to provide members of our community with a wonderful place to spend time with their families without worrying about cost. It was the right thing to do, and it was a fabulous success. In fact, we saw twice as many visitors this summer as we did in the same three months in 2008!
Looking at those same calendar pages will also show you that our slate of members-only programs continues to grow. The value of your membership has never been greater. As we enhance and expand members' events, we continue to offer school tours, outreach visits, exhibitions, and teacher workshops—all designed to ensure that history, this incredible past we all share, is brought alive for children.
Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. None of this programming, none of the services that we provide to members and to the general public would be possible without your support. Because of your devotion to this institution over the years, we were in a position to make the choice to offer free admission for the summer and attract many people who have never been here before. Because of your help, we can strive to make our programming available to schoolchildren and teachers regardless of their ability to pay. And because of you we can remain committed to ensuring that the VHS is a trusted place to turn for the many stories and lessons of our long and rich shared history.
I know that many of you are feeling the pinch in your household income. The times in which we live make for hard choices about where to spread one's precious financial resources. At the VHS we understand the tough decisions that confront so many. They confront us, too. We have been, and continue to be, vigilant with all our resources and efficient with our activities. I urge you to continue endorsing our essential work. The end of the year brings the most vital period of giving to our annual fund. If you have already made your gift, thank you. If you have not, please remember the VHS and the work we do. We can't do it all without your help.
Posted October 2009
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