Locals Fund Keeler Tavern's Cannonball Challenge

Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center Meets Challenge to “Rock the Tavern!” by Raising $100,000

Responding to a dollar-for-dollar challenge made by a local philanthropist, Ridgefield, CT, families and businesses, as well as supporters across the country, “Rocked the Tavern” by donating over $50,000 by December 31, 2018, to help fund the Cannonball Challenge, which aims to transform Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s (KTM&HC’s) historic site on Ridgefield’s Main Street.  By meeting the year-end deadline, the 1:1 appeal secured an additional $50,000 for KTM&HC’s ongoing capital campaign, bringing the total raised to over $105,000.

“The local community really responded to our benefactor’s challenge to ‘Rock the Tavern’,” says board president Hilary Micalizzi. “From $10 bills dropped in donation jars to $100 and $1,000 gifts, as well as generous in-kind donations by local contractors and tradespeople working on our site transformation, the support came in many forms. We couldn’t be more grateful.”

With completion of the Cannonball Challenge, KTM&HC is close to meeting its initial capital campaign goal of $1.5 million, set in 2016, when it acquired the “Brick House” located on the property immediately next door at 152 Main Street. “We’re aiming for $2 million,” says Micalizzi, “because while the Brick House space has been renovated, its Visitor Center capabilities will only be fully realized when we expand our museum’s offerings for 21st-century audiences.” Already a favorite destination for thousands of visitors of all ages from near and far, including more than 1,300 children coming for immersive school programs, KTM&HC is re-imagining its tours and exhibitions to more fully interpret the site’s 300-year history for its relevance today.

Donations to KTM&HC’s capital campaign, which continues through 2020, can be made at www.keelertaverncampaign.org or by sending a check/credit card information to 132 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877. Tours are offered February through December, on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Further information about the site, including rental of its Cass Gilbert-designed Garden House and garden for social occasions, can be found at keelertavernmuseum.org or Facebook.com/KeelerTavernMuseum.

Photo Caption: This British cannonball embedded in Keeler Tavern’s corner post truly rocked the building in 1777, and in 2018 it became the symbol for Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s Cannonball Challenge. The 1:1 Challenge, which ended December 31, raised a total of $105,000 for KTM&HC’s capital campaign, thanks to the generosity of many donors, especially the challenge sponsor, an anonymous Ridgefield resident.


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