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Becker County museum fundraiser -- Making old new again

The phrase "everything old is new again" will take on new meaning for the Becker County Historical Society & Museum's "Keeping History Alive" fundraiser, which takes place Friday, March 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Historic Holmes Theatre Ballroom.

The centerpiece of the fundraiser will be a live auction at 8:30 p.m., featuring original works of art that "have taken something old and made it new," said museum director Amy Degerstrom.

"We've received everything from paintings to jewelry to teddy bears -- a really wide variety of stuff," she added.

Featured artists will include Becky Mitchell, Carmen McCullough, Lori Lindquist and Becca McCollum, among others.

"We even have an artist from New Jersey who sent us something," Degerstrom said. "We put out a call for artists nationwide."

Sixty percent of the auction proceeds will go to the museum as part of the fundraiser; the remaining 40 percent will go to the contributing artist, as Degerstrom noted in the call for artists that the museum sent out in January.

The March 23 fundraiser will also include a silent auction, with contributions including everything from handcrafted items to vacation getaway packages to limousine rentals and restaurant gift certificates.

In addition to the live and silent auctions, the evening will also include entertainment by not just one, but two area music groups -- the Minnesota State University Moorhead Jazz Trio will perform during the first half of the evening, while the local barbershop quartet "Note-ified" will sing during the second half of the event.

There will be hors d'oeuvres served throughout the evening as well as a cash bar and games.

"It's meant to be a fun, social kind of evening, with no formal program or dinner," Degerstrom said.

Heidi Brune of Frazee is providing decorations for the event.

The planning committee for the fundraiser included Bev Olander, Tom Mortensen, Dick Duffney, John Jacobson, Becky Mitchell and Mike Wammer, Degerstrom added.

Tickets for the event are $40, and may be purchased at the museum -- located at 714 Summit Ave. in Detroit Lakes -- or by calling 218-847-2938 to reserve a seat.

Though the event is still a couple of weeks away, Degerstrom said the organizers are requesting that all tickets be purchased by this Thursday, March 16.

Those who would like to donate items for the silent auction, or simply make a donation toward the fundraiser, should also contact the museum as soon as possible, she added.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Proceeds from the inaugural "Keeping History Alive" fundraiser will be used by the Historical Society to build some traveling exhibit display cases.

Degerstrom said the cases will be used to bring some museum artifacts out to different parts of the county, "to tell our history county-wide."

"This is a county museum," she emphasized, but because the actual museum facilities are located in Detroit Lakes, many people who live in outlying areas of Becker County have never had an opportunity to view its exhibits first-hand.

"We want to expand our physical presence into other parts of the county," she explained.

For more information about the museum and its programs, please call 847-2938 or visit the museum's website at

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454