(Edited press release)
A $1 million challenge pledge from the William Stamps Farish Fund has initiated an endowment drive by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
The contribution is contingent on the museum raising its current endowment by an additional $6 million. The Farish pledge will assist the museum in achieving its final goal of $10 million.
"The mission of the Museum is to interpret the history and convey the excitement of Thoroughbred racing, and to continue to do that we need a strong and permanent financial base," said museum president Stella Thayer. "This generous pledge by the Farish Fund will give impetus to a very important fundraising drive."
The Farish Fund is a private foundation established and managed by one of the leading families in Thoroughbred racing. Lane's End Farm owner William S. Farish, is a key member of the fund, and his aunt, the late Martha Gerry, was the museum’s board chairman.
"We hope the American Thoroughbred industry understands and appreciates that the Museum and Hall of Fame are here to serve and promote the entire industry, not just one region," Thayer said. "Similarly, the permanent collection and special exhibitions presented by the museum touch the whole of American racing of past and present."
The current endowment of approximately $3 million will serve as the base for the drive, which will reach out to owners, breeders, racetracks, fans, and the many other segments of the multi-faceted Thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.
There are many important and vigorous organizations in this broad industry," said museum director Joe Aulisi, "but I believe the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is unique in its specific role on behalf of all those components. I hope the fact we have been around for more than a half-century is not taken for granted by the industry. It is also my hope that all organizations involved in Thoroughbred racing will support this fundraising endeavor to ensure we are always here on their behalf."