Just weeks before its official public opening, Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham has announced a leadership gift of $50,000 from von Drehle, a high-quality towel and tissue manufacturer.
With corporate offices in Hickory and a paper manufacturing facility in Cordova, von Drehle provides quality commercial paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue products and towel dispensers.
The new children’s museum, which opens Feb. 23, will offer creative learning-through-play experiences for children and their caregivers and is the second Discovery Place KIDS location following the success of Discovery Place KIDS–Huntersville, which opened in 2010.
“As a corporation we know how exciting it is to invest in the community where we are located and the importance of educational opportunities for families here,” said Raymond von Drehle, owner of von Drehle Corporation.
The von Drehle gift will support the “Ball Wall Fall” in I CAN Wonder Why theme area of the museum. A magnetic wall provides the “canvas” for a visitor-created maze of balls and tracks. Visitors reconfigure sections of track and then release balls along the course they have created to see what happens. The space offers children the opportunity for open-ended experimentation with forces of motion.
“Part of what makes the Sandhills region so remarkable is how those who live and work here understand and heartily embrace the educational opportunities this museum will offer children and families,” said John Mackay, president and CEO of Discovery Place, Inc. “Our friends at von Drehle have an excitement about this project that mirrors our own, and we are grateful for their support and altruism.”
“The employees of the von Drehle Corporation that live in Richmond County and the Sandhills region will directly benefit from Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham, along with the rest of the region, and that is something we’re very proud of,” said Joe Pankratz, site manager for the Cordova Paper Manufacturing Facility. “We are eagerly anticipating a wonderful new space for our children and grandchildren to grow, learn and play.”
In celebration of the public opening, Saturday, Feb. 23, the museum will offer half-price admission all weekend, with proceeds designated to a special fund to support future admission for those with financial need.
The Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham project was launched by the commitment of $6.6 million in funds from the Cole Foundation and the Richmond Community Foundation. Their visionary leadership gifts, which were facilitated by The Foundation For The Carolinas, are intended for the long-term sustainability of the museum.