The John Philip Falter Museum fundraisers held this summer — one hosted by Dr. Chick and Carole James, and another by artist Sandy Appleoff — successfully pushed the collection effort past the $100,000 mark and renovation of the former Richardson County Bank building, 17th and Stone Streets, is officially underway.
The Falter Museum is on schedule to open Friday, Nov. 28, just in time for Santa Claus’ annual visit and Falls City’s downtown Christmas window opening, Museum Chair Janet “Dobey” (Falter) Haws reported. Some $80,000 was pledged as of June 1. The monetary target is $225,000, which would cover the entire remodel, as well as five years of site maintainance. Falls City native and architect Merle Bachman, general contractor Jim Murphy, Gary Jones of Jones Air Conditioning and Ben Howard of El Camino Electric have teamed up to construct the museum.
John Philip Falter became a world renowned illustrator and historic painter, but never lost his love for Falls City. Following his death in Philadelphia in 1982, his studio and some of his paintings were donated to the Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln. The NSHS is loaning the Falter Museum Committee his studio.
“Many thanks to the donors who have already given,” Haws said.
Mrs. Haws, who’s father, the late John C. Falter, was a first cousin to the famous Falls City artist, recently accepted a $7,000 check from the Union Pacific Railroad Foundation. Falls City EDGE Executive Director Beckie Cromer made the presentation.
Others who have given more than $5,000, or “Patron” Donors include: The Richardson Foundation, Stalder Foundation, Merle and Trula Bachman, Vandeberg Foundation, Rod Vandeberg, Mitch Glaeser, F&M Bank, Richardson County Visitor’s Bureau, and Butch and Dobey Haws.
Benefactors ($2,500- $4,999): Richardson County Bank & Trust.
Associates ($1,000- $2,499): Rachel Witt (Sportin’ Falls City), Marty and Gail Froeschl, Jim and Diane Sefried, Bob and Chris Berkley, Alan Collet, and Marlan and Marea Downey.
Sponsors ($500-$999): Bob Planansky, Jeff Falter, Linda Hillegass and James McKee, Steve Steinbrink and Joan Hueffner, Garry and Linda Watzke, Sally Shorb (SMS Tech), Stephen Ourecky, Leon and Carolyn Joy, Bob and Roxy Aitken, Dr. Chick and Carole James, Barry and Diane Kennedy, and Barb Frost Hemphill.
Friends ($101-$499): Falls City Elks Lodge #963, Ken and Ann Littlefield, Falls City Journal, John and Barb Parrish, Scott and Sandra Volker, Deb Hood, Sandy Appleoff
Bill and Deb Palmer, Dick and Mary Jane Gist, and Gale and Mildred Appleoff Marsh.
Members (Up to $100): Ron and Nancy Kelley, Lavonne Anderson, Darin and Janet Raguse, Jannie McNeely, Shelly Stall/Greg Newport, Scott and Sandra Volker, Galen and Sue Harmon, Jerry and Charlotte Lunsford, Mike and Lorna Simon, John and Loralee Weaver, Dr. and Mrs. R.L. Neman, Nancy Falter, Diane Collet, Paul and Mary Jane Weinert, Mary Campbell, John and Kathy Martin, John Kreissler and Barbara McClasky, Martha Runyan, Dr. Bill and Mary Jane Nelson, Dr. Della Meyer, Tom Langan, Lisa Langan, Nancy Merz, Wayne and Pam Magdanz, Merle Stalder, LaMarr and Wanda Matthes, Becky Runyan, Don Campbell, Charlie and Betty Maze, Richard and Esther Halbert, Mike Gilmore, Charlie Schweickert, Hope Schawang, Joe Gist, Kathleen Burda, Dave and Laura Bell Hollie, Merle and Sarah Veigel, Gary and Glenda Nelson, Breezy Hill Cafe, One Stop, Sun Mart, Falls City Mercantile, True Value Hardware.
Volunteers: Rick Jones, Joni Milam, Julie Hall, Randy and Beth Sickel, Kim and Lonnie Goff, Tim Lyons and Judd and Jamie Milam.
Special Donor/Volunteer/Entertainer: John Rogers
Other donations: Del and Shirley Bowers (complete set of Falter jazz prints); Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney (POST magazines and covers).
“Adopt a Falter POST Cover” donors will appear in next week’s Falls City Journal.