WILTON — In Western Maine Play Museum’s annual fundraising newsletter, Executive Director Joni James reflected on the first year of business since opening. “We held a Halloween party, a grand opening celebration, the best Noon Years Eve party the world has ever seen, and learned about the Lunar New Year. We hosted artists, scientists, classrooms full of students, nature enthusiasts and a Contraption Convention that filled our rooms with unbelievable kid-made inventions,” according to a news release from the museum.

James went on to talk about overcoming and adapting to the struggles that COVID-19 and 2020 brought for the museum.

When the museum reopened its doors in September, with a new ticket process and safety precautions, it allowed local children to enjoy the museum once again, while also allowing social distancing. The museum is grateful to have received funds from the Cares Act Grant, which helped cover operation costs. The organization is always working tirelessly to find and apply for new non-profit grants that help with operation costs, renovations and exhibits.

The museum has announced that during its current fundraising campaign, Chris and Andy Cook and the Cook Family Foundation, have offered to match up to $10,000 in any funds raised. The Cooks have been frequent visitors and continued supporters of the museum. This is the second matching grant that they have offered the museum.

The first upcoming event is a Virtual New Years Family Fun Run. Families can purchase tickets through the website and participate in their own time and space. Participants are asked to complete a mile walk/run with their family and submit photos to be entered into a raffle for some wintery prizes. Families are encouraged to get creative and have some fun with themes or locations to complete their mile from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4. All the ticket sales from this event will be matched by the Cook Family Foundation donation.

For more information, visit westernmaineplay.org.

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