Last year brought amazing challenges and created tremendous opportunities as we had to abandon Columbia Point South for the Reach Center. Supporters of the project long hoped for the ability to overcome tribal opposition to construction of the facility on Columbia Point. Federal permitting and the declaration of eligibility for inclusion on the National Registry of Historic Places requires that we look for alternative sites and if one is found we are required by law to use it.
This is an opportunity to revisit placement of the facility where it would best serve Tri-Citians. With the assistance of Richland and our architectural team Jones and Jones, we're moving expeditiously to complete all the necessary steps to confirm a new site so construction can start this year.
We still have the challenge of raising an additional $15 million for construction and $3 million for an operating endowment. We are engaged in raising operating funds, resulting in $216,000 in new gifts and grants, as compared with $3,450 in 2008. We were able to secure $172,500 of in-kind support, up from $29,500 in 2008.
Our Hedges Family Estates Reach Red promotion has proved to be an excellent source of income. Other proceeds came from inaugural events including our 2009 Mardi Gras hosted by Country Gentleman Catering, with the participation of 509 Artists. We inaugurated River Blues, co-hosted by residents of the Columbia Point condominiums and Allen Brecke.
Our Capital Campaign Steering Committee, co-chaired by Tri-City Herald Publisher Rufus Friday and PNNL Director Mike Kluse, has done an excellent job of laying the framework for new pledges. A new $150,000 pledge has been received and we will announce the donor's name when a new site is secured.
Our six-year operating pro-forma was approved by the board, which provides a road map for the fiscal development of the project through the first three years of operations. It will provide answers to questions about projected operating revenue and expenses, backed by defendable assumptions.
A committee composed of board members from the Reach, the RPFD and the CREHST museum met several times toward creating an effective and smooth transition for the closure of CREHST when the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center opens. A great deal of time has been spent in efforts to create a unified governance structure for the future of the Reach with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
In order to provide a taste of the great things to come, we created our baby mammoth exhibit, hosted by the Columbia Center mall from July through Jan. 6, 2010. The exhibition, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, became a favorite for children of all ages. The Tri-City Herald published an activity guide for children that has already been requested by teachers for in-classroom use. Ashley Nelson of Richland won the "Name the Baby" contest, with her entry of Baby Ems. Baby Ems will be made available for loan to area institutions while we await completion of our building.
Our goal for the coming year is construction and completion of our capital campaign. We have prepared the groundwork for a dynamic start to this next phase of our work. We were disappointed but not surprised at the outcome for Columbia Point South as our location. It is important to note, however, that the process of vetting Columbia Point South gave rise to a stronger relationship for the Richland Public Facilities District with the City of Richland, the Native American community and many others.
We are building a firm base for diversified support, while continuing to cultivate new sources of support for the project. We are committed to the success of the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center for what it can bring to this community, the state and the nation.