Here’s why a Richland museum wants to raise $100,000 in a month

Virtual video drone tour of Reach museum

Join a virtual video tour by drone of the Reach museum in Richland.
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Join a virtual video tour by drone of the Reach museum in Richland.

The Reach museum has hit a significant milestone.

It now has more than 1,000 members — 1,037 to be exact, as of earlier this past week.

It’s also drawn thousands of visitors so far this year — to check out the exhibits and to take part in education programs.

And museum leaders want community members to notice the success and step up to help it keep growing.

They’ve launched a fundraising campaign, called Orange to Black, that runs throughout October.

The goal is to raise $100,000.

“We need to not take our foot off the pedal, but rather press forward, because we’ve got a lot of momentum,” said Rosanna Sharpe, executive director of the Richland museum, which is dedicated to telling stories of the region’s land, history and people.

The Reach museum in Richland. Tri-City Herald file

The Reach opened in 2014 after years of dreaming and planning.

It had a winding and sometimes rocky path to that opening day. But, as it approaches its fifth year, it’s thriving, leaders said.

It has a balanced budget, thanks to careful stewardship.

And it has successful education programs and other offerings, such as its robust slate of tours.

Admissions are up 20 percent over last year.

The Orange to Black campaign is about creating a cushion, adding to that momentum.

Leaders plan to undergo a strategic planning process after the new year to further shape its future.

The Reach’s annual budget is about $800,000. The museum has 13 full- and part-time staffers.

Rosanna Sharpe, executive director of the Reach museum in Richland. Tri-City Herald file

The museum plays an important role in the community, leaders said.

“We’re preserving things about this community that aren’t saved anywhere else,” said Toby Bouchey, a member of the museum’s foundation board. The Reach connects the past to the present and future, she said.

Sharpe said museums like the Reach are transformative.

“I really believe museums change lives. They should be a go-to place in good times and in bad times. People often seek their museums for sanity, inspiration, to satisfy their curiosity. It can speak to many people at various places in their lives,” she said. “I see the Reach as a place that anchors the community, that shows us how more alike we are than different. We need more places like that.”

To donate, go to visitthereach.org and click on “donate.”

Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529