The Military Museum of Fort Worth is sticking around after all.
The Star-Telegram reported last week that the little museum in a west-side neighborhood planned to close its doors Saturday because of a drop in attendance and funding.
But a surge of support then flooded the 8-year-old museum at 712 Dorothy Lane, and “guardian angels” of sorts came to the rescue, said Chris Hankins, a volunteer at the museum since it opened.
Roll Call — an organization that benefits and honors veterans and those killed in action — offered a plan to keep the museum open for six more months “while working on a permanent alliance,” according to a news release. They’re considering moving the museum to a larger building that would also house Roll Call’s offices, Hankins said.
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Roll Call’s funding includes a donation from the Carl E. Kessler Foundation, named for its founder, a World War II pilot.
“We’re really excited about this new partnership we’re trying,” Hankins said.
The museum, where admission is free, includes items from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and the Gulf wars.
In the past two years, about 85 percent of the visitors have been from out-of-state or out-of-town. A few years ago, more than 3,000 people visited the museum in one year. Last year, only about 1,000 came.
The decrease in attendance also meant a drop in donations. Tyler Alberts, director of the Organization for Texas Military Education, which operates the museum, estimated that it takes about $17,500 each year to operate the museum, with 40 percent from donations and 60 percent from members of OTME.
Hankins said the museum had a “great turnout” Friday and Saturday, right after the Star-Telegram story about it closing was published.
Last week, lots of Facebook users commented on the Star-Telegram story, saying they weren’t aware of the museum but would have liked to visit it.
Looks like they’re getting another chance.