Mission Support Alliance and Lockheed Martin will donate $1 million in cash and in-kind services to the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center project.
Frank Armijo, president of Mission Support Alliance, announced the donation Tuesday morning at the MSA headquarters in Richland.
The contribution, which includes $500,000 in cash, fills "a critical role at a critical time by this valuable partner," said George Garlick, local entrepreneur and philanthropist, in introducing Armijo.
Fred Raab, president of the Richland Public Facilities District Board, said MSA's generosity will help further the project to build a world-class 61,000-square-foot facility at the west end of Columbia Park and will be a catalyst to inspire other businesses and individuals to get behind the project.
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"The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center will be a cultural cornerstone to celebrate thehistory and the people wholive here," he said.
"It's a big boost for the interpretive center," said Richland Mayor John Fox.
The interpretive center is intended to tell the story of the Hanford Reach National Monument, and of the region's history, science, geology, plants and animals.
Armijo told an audience of about 40 people, who included representatives for U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, and U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, that Mission Support Alliance and Lockheed Martin believe in the project and want to be an example to the community in asking them to join with support.
"We want to make a difference in the Tri-Cities. We want to educate the youth -- young and old -- to learn about the history of this region," he said.
Nick Ceto, a member of the Richland Public Facilities District board, said MSA's contribution provided the spark needed.
"We're at the point where we can say we can make this happen," he said.
Lisa Toomey, executive director for the interpretive center, said that with MSA's show of corporate citizenship was appreciated.
"This is truly a gift that keeps on giving, a first truly regional project," she said.
The announcement comes a day after the facilities board signed off on a plan to eliminate two Hanford Reach Interpretive Center positions and cut the operations budget by 28 percent for the remainder of the year.
Toomey told the board Monday that the move is important to bring the budget "back in line" and to show the public the interpretive center is committed to moving ahead with the multimillion-dollar project at Columbia Park.
The facilities board also plans to scale back the original vision for project and to build it in two phases, with the first phase including a 26,000-square-foot building.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org