715-392-7151
Center Awarded Two Grants!

Center Awarded Two Grants!

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior, Wisconsin is pleased to announce that it has been awarded two grants totaling $30,000.

The first is a $20,000 grant to upgrade the audio/visual equipment at the Center. The Center was built 15 years ago and at the time, installed state of the art video kiosks and a movie theater. “With the changes in technology in the last 15 years, we need to make an upgrade.” said Hayes Scriven, Executive Director for the Center. He continues, “We are using the same equipment that we were using when we opened and a lot of it is past its useful life. It is costing us too much in maintenance to continue using them.” To complete the project the Center is going to use a cash match that was obtained at its annual fundraising auction in November. Those funds will be used to contract with local videographers to update the current videos and create new ones. “The new videos will better tell veterans stories and give people a more immersive experience when they visit us.” said Scriven.

The second grant, which was awarded by multiple funds from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation for $10,000, will expand the Center’s youth programs. This grant will create multiple new “traveling trunks” that can be utilized by area schools and create a “Jr. Curator Program.” John Gidley, the Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator stated, “The new trunks will be an extension of our field trip program here at the Center. We will create new trunks on a wide variety of subjects that classes can utilize in their classroom to tell veterans stories.” With this grant, the Center will also be creating a Jr. Curator program. This program will engage 20 students that are entering 8th grade. The students will work in pairs at the Center for a week at a time. During the week, students will learn how a museum operates by working with primary resources and researching in a library. The main project will be to conduct an oral history with a veteran and create a display that will be up for the summer in the museum gallery. Scriven said, “This is a very similar program that I had at my previous job. It really engaged the students and got them excited about history. I am excited about developing the program here and connecting students with area veterans in helping document our community history.” Currently the Center is targeting to partner with the Superior School District, but if all goes well, the program will expand in to the Duluth School District.

About the Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

H&R Block and Bong Veterans Center Turn Tax Filing into Fundraising

H&R Block and Bong Veterans Center Turn Tax Filing into Fundraising

For the past five years, H&R Block’s nonprofit referral program generated many donations for the Bong Veterans Center in Superior Wisconsin. Last year the program raised $4,920 for the Center.

“Nearly 2,200 nonprofit organizations nationwide participated in the H&R Block nonprofit referral program,” said Sandra Newman, district general manager. “Giving back is part of H&R Block’s culture. Whether it’s free tax advice, a community service project or a financial donation, H&R Block invests in the communities it serves.”

“It’s a huge help for us,” said Hayes Scriven, Executive Director of the Center. “The funds come after the tax season is complete and it is great timing for us. The money donated goes towards, our youth programs and exhibits.”

Nonprofit organizations often see charitable donations increase toward the end of the year as taxpayers maximize their yearly tax deduction for donations. This program provides area nonprofits with an opportunity to raise funds at the beginning of the year when private donations traditionally decline.

To participate you can go to any of the Twin Ports area H&R Block offices, you must be a new client and then file your taxes with H&R Block or Block Advisors. For every new client $20 will be donated to the Bong Center.

About the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.

World War I in the Twin Ports

World War I in the Twin Ports

On January 25th the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center is hosting “World War I in the Twin Ports” presented by Dan Hartman. The program is the next in a series of programming designed to commemorate the centennially of “The Great War.” World War I has a deep history in the Twin Ports and Dan will explore a few of the areas soldier’s stories.

Join us on January 25th at 6:30 p.m. at the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior for this free event.

Refreshments will be provided.

About the Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

Bong Center Collects Gifts for Veterans

Bong Center Collects Gifts for Veterans

In the spirit of the Holiday Season, The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center, the Bong Book Club, Richard I. Bong American Legion Auxiliary, and the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post #435 are once again looking for donations for the Silver Bay (MN) Veterans Home.

The program started 12 years ago to bring some holiday cheer to area veterans. Hope Swenson, Bong Center Volunteer said “The donation program started as an outreach program from the Bong Book Club and has grown from there.” She continues “It has continued to be well received by the community.”

Ward Wallin, Silver Bay Veterans Home Volunteer Program Administrator states, “Each year the residents of the Silver Bay Veterans Home are very grateful for the donations provided by the many volunteers and staff at the Bong Center. We have enjoyed a great working relationship over the years and your dedication to our nation’s heroes has been outstanding.”

Bring donations to the Center by December 18th and place them in the box located in the lobby. The gifts should be unwrapped, and you may include your name on the gift or donate anonymously. Suggested gift items include; shaving and other personal care supplies, blankets, socks, t-shirts, sweatpants, stationery items, stamps, books, magazines, and DVDs.

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

Heroes Tree

Heroes Tree

The Lake Superior Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Richard I Bong American Legion Post #435 and the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center would like to foster community support and involvement as well as promote patriotic literacy for individuals, families, communities and the nation through the Our Heroes Tree.

The Our Heroes Tree program has been hosted by these three organization since 2013. It started as a national movement in 2005 and is now in 34 states and 10 countries. The goal of the tree is to honor military members who have been deployed to overseas combat operation, and to domestic duty stations in support of foreign conflicts and also those deployed in support of national and international relief missions in the aftermath of disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes.

The white lights on the tree are a symbol of those who have lost their lives defending our freedoms, the yellow ribbon is used as a symbol of solidarity with someone who is far from home, and an expression of hope that they will return safely and soon. We encourage you to place a handmade ornament with a picture, name, and military information on the tree and/or write a memoir for placement in the journal about your Veteran, these will be kept and displayed from year to year.

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

November 30-Book talk on the World War I Experiences of Minnesota Brothers Marland and Stanley Williams

November 30-Book talk on the World War I Experiences of Minnesota Brothers Marland and Stanley Williams

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center invites the public to a book talk on the World War I experiences of Minnesota brothers Marland and Stanley Williams on November 30. With Love to All: The World War I Letters and Photographs of Two Minnesota Brothers Marland and Stanley Williams was published by the Goodhue County Historical Society in June 2017. The talk with begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Center.

Assembled and published for the first time, this collection of photographs and letters by the Williams brothers is a compelling and personal narrative of army life during World War I. Upon the United States’ declaration of war in April 1917, seventeen-year-old Marland and his older brother Stanley volunteered for duty. Marland was a bandsman with the 125th Field Artillery of the 34th Sandstorm Division – among the first Minnesota units sent to Camp Cody, New Mexico, for training. His treasure trove of photographs and letters describe every aspect of the 125th F. A. during its nearly year-long training experience and journey to France. Stanley enlisted as a member of the Minnesota 151st Field Artillery, part of the legendary 42nd Rainbow Division. As one of the first units to fight in France. Battalion Sergeant Major Stanley Williamss letters give a glimpse into Rainbow Division’s combat experience as it endured many of the war’s most costly battles.

Book editor Elizabeth Williams Gomoll, granddaughter of Marland Williams, will bring these letters and photographs to life, providing an intimate, inside perspective on these principled and dedicated Minnesota brothers during a momentous period of American history. After the talk, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a copy of With Love to All and have it signed by Ms. Gomoll.

Elizabeth Williams Gomoll is professional genealogist. She is president of the Association of Professional Genealogists Northland Chapter, and co-editor of the Minnesota Genealogist quarterly journal. Liz is also a professional flutist, performing with the Rochester Symphony and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. When weather permits, Liz and her husband Roger find joy in flying their 1928 open cockpit biplane.

Sponsorship for this event provided by the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center and the Goodhue County Historical Society in Red Wing MN along with funding from the Red Wing Shoe Company Foundation.

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

About the Goodhue County Historical Society
The Goodhue County Historical Society, located in Red Wing, MN, was founded in 1869 as the first county historical society in Minnesota. It operates the Goodhue County History Center, which features 15 separate exhibit spaces, research library, meeting room, and museum store. To learn more about the Goodhue County Historical Society, visit their website at www.goodhuecountyhistory.org.