Carnegie Museum of Kings County hosts first annual reception honoring donors, volunteers

The contributions of donors and volunteers to the first year success of the Carnegie Museum of Kings County (CMKC) were recognized at a special reception at the museum Thursday, Dec. 16.

Jack Schwartz, president of the museum’s board of directors, identified several milestones CMKC has reached since being incorporated in August 2020, from revitalizing the interior and grounds of the 116-year-old Carnegie library building to hosting two major themed exhibitions and building a virtual museum. Schwartz also mentioned the overwhelming success of the two car shows the museum sponsored in July and November and said the museum has begun collecting oral history interviews it will feature on its website and social media platforms.

Schwartz said these and other milestones and initiatives would not be possible were it not for the dedication of volunteers and generosity of donors.

“This past year has demonstrated that Kings County’s residents and community organizations support a vibrant museum focused on preserving and highlighting our local history,” he said. “We look forward to working with community members to curate more exciting exhibitions in 2022.”

Among those honored at the event were Richard and Lisa Conway, who were given the Patron Award for making the first major financial contribution to CMKC. Rob Bentley was named Volunteer of the Year for his contributions to the museum in multiple capacities. Also acknowledged were Clark Valceschini, curator of the Naval Air Station Lemoore exhibition, and Suzanne Tabers, a volunteer Schwartz praised for always being willing to help when needed. Board members Dennis Ham and Kelley McCoy were recognized for their work in the areas of facilities management and communications, respectively.

The next exhibition, A Salute to Kings County Black History, will open on Feb. 4, 2022.

The Carnegie Museum of Kings County is located at 109 E. Eighth St. in Hanford.

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