Tinker seeks votes, $25,000 in ‘This Place Matters’ challenge

A large group of Tinker supporters stand on the suspension bridge at Tinker Swiss Cottage, holding This Place Matters signs. Photo by Marianne Larson Photography

From press release

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, a Victorian home with deep roots in Rockford, is competing against other sites across the country to get the most votes in “This Place Matters,” a community challenge program with a prize of $25,000 to the top vote-getter.

The competition, sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, began Sunday, Aug. 15, and ends Wednesday, Sept. 15.

Votes are cast online by visiting http://www.preservationnation.org, clicking on “This Place Matters,” clicking on “Community Map” and clicking on the location icon in northern Illinois for Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens. This will take you to the Tinker webpage, where you can read information and place a vote. One vote per person, per screen name is permitted.

The program was created to spread awareness about special places that define our national heritage and help organizations start conversations in their community about places that matter.

Tinker Board of Trustees President Ruth Little explained: “Winning the $25,000 would certainly be a boost to the museum’s budget, but this competition also is important because it will draw attention to the museum locally and from across the nation. Tinker is authentic. It is very unusual among historic home museums in that it dates back to 1865 and is a complete package—an architecturally significant building filled with the original possessions of one family.”

Tinker’s entry is sponsored by the Friends of Tinker, the museum’s new support and membership organization. It is hoped that participation in this competition and the attention it will focus on Tinker will spark interest in a museum membership drive to be conducted this fall.

Other sites in the competition include historic churches, theaters, downtown districts and dwellings. Voters can cast just one ballot in the competition.

“It will take the whole community pulling for Tinker and voting for Tinker to put us over the top in this popularity contest,” Little said. “But I know we can do it. “

The Tinker website includes a Tinker’s Top 10 list of reasons the museum is important.

The This Place Matters Community Challenge program is just the second of highly successful This Place Matters annual campaigns conducted by the National Trust. It is made possible by support from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and National Trust Insurance Services, LLC.

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, a Rockford Park District affiliate, is an educational, not-for-profit institution, dedicated to the preservation of and access to historic Tinker Swiss Cottage, its collections and the legacy of the Robert H. Tinker family for the community-at-large. Tinker is at 411 Kent St., Rockford. For more information about the programs and tours offered by Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, phone 815-964-2424 or e-mail bbroyles@tinkercottage.org. Visit the museum’s website at www.tinkercottage.org to learn more about events and activities that will take place at Tinker this year.

From the Aug. 25-31, 2010 issue

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