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Dahlgren museum will receive $50K donation
Dahlgren museum moving ahead, latest donation is $50,000 donation from Dominion Resources

Date published: 12/6/2012


As the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation prepares to launch a major fundraising campaign next year, it will be receiving its largest contribution to date: a $50,000 grant next week from Dominion Foundation.

The Dahlgren Heritage Foundation for two years has been working with the Navy to launch the Dahlgren Heritage Museum. That is scheduled to open next year in the former Gateway Welcome Center on U.S. 301 near the Nice Bridge in King George County.

"We are honored and grateful that Dominion has selected our project for this generous donation," Robert Gates, vice president and fundraising chair of the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation, said in a press release.

Gates is heading up a $2 million capital fundraising campaign that will help the museum open with a series of events and forums focused on initial exhibits. Aviation at the Naval Support Facility Dahlgren is expected to be one of the first exhibits.

With the latest contribution, the museum foundation has collected more than $200,000 in cash and in-kind donations.

This year, the museum opened an exhibit on Dahlgren history, with a focus on women in science and technology in the University of Mary Washington's Dahlgren campus off U.S. 301 in King George outside the base.

Rodney Blevins, vice president of Distribution Operations for Dominion Virginia Power, said the company was pleased to "support the beginning stages of a museum that will celebrate the history, culture and community of the Dahlgren area." Dominion Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources.

Blevins will present the grant to museum officials during a ceremony and reception Dec. 12 at the UMW Dahlgren Campus. Others speaking include: House Speaker Bill Howell, state Sen. Richard Stuart, Del. Margaret Ransone and Capt. Pete Nette, Dahlgren base commander.

Ed Jones, president of the museum foundation board of directors and editor of The Free Lance-Star, says the organization has ambitious goals for the coming year.

"During the next chapter for the museum in 2013, it's time for bricks and mortar," Jones said, adding that it will get a boost from Dominion's contribution.

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According to a brochure, the Dahlgren Heritage Museum "will tell a powerful story that will resonate from King George all across the nation. It's the story of how a remote testing range, carved out of Potomac River marshland in 1918, became what former U.S. Sen. John Warner called "one of the crown jewels" of national defense. It will play an important role in preserving the history of the base and the community. As a model for future Naval Heritage Centers, it also will have a national reach."