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Laurens County Museum aims big with membership drive

The Laurens County Museum is in the midst of a membership drive that will end on May 20.

The Laurens County Museum is in the midst of a membership drive that leaders hope will more than quadruple its rolls by adding at least 1,000 new members by late May.

The membership drive began officially on April 1 and will end May 20.

“I really think there should be an intrinsic motivation to help the museum because at the museum we don’t just have exhibits for people to come in and see – we provide programs and classes and lectures,” said Laurens County Museum Board President Teresa Noble. “There are all kinds of things coming up. It’s really a hub for preserving the story of Laurens County and promoting it.”

An increase in membership and support for the museum translates into a more vital and dynamic space for visitors, Noble said, especially as Laurens County prepares to celebrate the Sestercentennial of the American Revolutionary War in 2026.

“More members will allow us to have more wonderful speakers and programs,” said Board Member Debbie Vaughn. “The more members we get, the more events and more perks for the members we can have.”

The Laurens County Museum opened its current location on the Laurens Historic Square at the beginning of 2022 following years of fundraising. It has since hosted private and public events, including the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and a Christmas market.

The Magnolia Room event space has also been popular for private parties and receptions and is now a significant part of the museum’s membership drive.

Adult and youth grand and runner-up prizes for the recruiting the most membership dollars include use of the Magnolia Room. The adult first prize is a Friday-Sunday use of the Magnolia Room, which is a $2,500 value, and the youth first prize is a party for 20 at the museum.

“I think people who are thinking about holding an event really would consider being a part of the (membership drive),” Noble said.

Vaughn said the museum wants to continue to open its exhibit hall to the public for free, and a successful membership drive will help that happen. Donations are accepted at the door, but there is no entry fee for normal exhibits.

“We don’t want to have to charge like most museums do,” Vaughn said.

Private and business memberships are available in a wide variety of price ranges from $5 annually for students and four others under $50 a year up to $1,500 for the Henry Laurens level membership.

Though there is work to be done over the next five weeks of the membership drive, Vaughn said she believes the museum can meet its goal of adding 1,000 new members.

“We think it’s very possible,” she said. “We’re getting a lot of out-of-town members, but we want to get people in Laurens County to realize that we have a museum, and it’s here for everyone.”

For information on joining the museum or participating in the membership drive, call the museum at 864-681-3678.

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