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Director's Report August 31, 2002
Fundraising Program Update: The development of the Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign continued throughout August with new additions made to the statewide leadership team and the initiation of a comprehensive donor prospect database. Details such as the design of a Legacy Campaign logo, the drafting of a specific campaign plan, and the creation of a corporate sponsorship package were the focus this month. Early results are positive, as first-contact donor prospects have expressed tentative financial commitments. The Coordinating Committee of the campaign met in Helena on the 5th to discuss issues and to review progress being made. A campaign update will be offered during the Fall Conference in Bozeman on October 3-4.
- A considerable amount of time in July was devoted to preparation for the 4th Annual Lewis & Clark conference to be held in Bozeman on October 3 & 4, 2002. Speakers were confirmed and the schedule of activities finalized. The 2002 conference will primarily be a time to receive timely updates on many Bicentennial events (i.e. Signature Events, Corps II, Fundraising Campaign and What Events are Being Planned Statewide?). We are anticipating attendance to reach 200 at the Best Western GranTree Hotel. A special tour and reception will highlight Thursday’s activities at the Missouri Headwaters State Park and in Three Forks.
- The Montana Legislature met in Helena from August 5th through the 10th (however, as I am drafting this report it appears the Legislature will need to re-convene in mid-September to put a “start date” on the revised HB2, the state’s funding bill). The Bicentennial Commission did not lose any funding during this budget-balancing session, but was very concerned as the Montana Historical Society was, for a time, slated to lose a very significant portion of their annual state-supported funding. For the time being it is business as usual for the Commission, but the upcoming 2003 session of the Montana Legislature might prove very interesting as the state faces a large budget short fall.
- Event Planning: As briefly mentioned in previous reports, I am now focusing on how Montana can participate in the January 18, 2003, kick off of the Bicentennial, and how to mark the arrival of the Expedition to Montana in 2005.
- The Commission and Montana’s two National Heritage Signature Events will share a booth in Monticello, VA and participate in events being planned both at Monticello and at the University of VA. Dignitaries from Montana will be invited to attend select events in Monticello and the UAV.
- In Montana we are planning to present a “Lewis & Clark Day at the state Capitol on January 18th. I will be meeting with the Lewis & Clark County Bicentennial Commission and the Crimson Bluffs, Gates and Reaching the Rockies Chapters of the L&C Trail Foundation in this planning process. More on this will be outlined at the Fall Conference.
- I will likewise be meeting soon with the NE Plains Regional Bicentennial Commission and Fort Union representatives to discuss ideas for a “Spring 2005” event to mark the entrance of the Expedition into present day Montana.
- I will be attending the annual Alberta Travel Conference on October 28-29, 2002, as a presenter. This will allow me an excellent opportunity to let our neighbors to the North know more about our Bicentennial planning in Montana.M
- On August 12th I traveled to Bozeman to attend a reception at the home of Geoff Gamble, the President of Montana State University. The reception was to welcome congressional staffers representing numerous Congressmen from other states and key DOI personnel. The focus of the reception was to highlight Montana’s very unique Undaunted Stewardship Program, of which the state Commission is a partner.
- On August 13th I had a very interesting visit with the producer of a new PBS special on the Lewis & Clark Expedition. PBS has entered into this filming project with the Corps of Engineers, and also the National Park Service. Some filming is taking place this fall, while the remainder will be shot in 2003. At this time I don’t have the airing date(s), but videos of the final product will be made available to certain visitor information centers along the trail.
NOTE:It was while visiting with this PBS representative that I became aware of plans of a re-enactor group from St. Charles, MO. Following my 8/13 meeting re: the new PBS film, I contacted the St. Charles group and found out that they do plan to do a water/land re-enactment through Montana in 2005, and most probably also in 2006 utilizing authentic water craft and re-enactors from the St. Charles area and locally along the route of the trail. More details to be forthcoming.
- As the next step in working with communities interested in hosting the NPS’s Corps of Discovery II, I will be meeting with Carol McBryant on October 1st in Helena. We will review the Questionnaires that have previously been completed by communities, and will go the next step in deciding the best host location sites. Carol will then report on the status of Montana host locations during her presentation at the Fall Conference in Bozeman.
- Lewis & Clark Directional Signs – I am continuing to work the Montana Department of Transportation for the design, creation, and installation of “Lewis & Clark Interpretive Marker Ahead” signs. These signs would compliment and draw attention to the many new L&C interpretive signs being construction throughout the state.
- On August 19th I met with Mary Boyle with Travel Montana, and Tom Cook with the Montana Historical Society to initiate the development of a new Publicity/PR campaign for Montana’s Bicentennial. When complete we envision having a press kit available in both electronic and print formats. We will also have a more comprehensive in-state effort to let residents know of plans being made.
- And, on August 19th I met with Travel Montana representatives to review the progress being made on their expanded Lewis & Clark “travel section” of their Lewis & Clark web site. This new addition will be more user-friendly, and will work to package events and activities for visitors wishing to plan a L&C trip to Montana. This new addition will be debuted during the Fall Conference.
- I met on August 20th with Betsy Allen (with Senator Burns’ office in Helena), and General Pendergast with the Montana National Guard, to discuss primarily the Guard’s plans for the Bicentennial. The proposed “Army Relay Run” was discussed as well as the need to create a statewide Public Safety Plan.
- Also on August 20th I was interviewed by KUFM public radio regarding the new Lewis & Clark Guide listing now available on the Commission’s website under the Resource Library section.
- On August 26th I participated in a meeting with the Montana Sheriff’s & Peace Officers Association and the Montana Department of Disaster and Emergency Services to discuss possible next steps in creating a statewide Bicentennial Public Safety Plan. At issue now is how to generate the funding necessary to create such a plan.
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