BETHEL — A Bethel Historical Society trustee has announced he’ll match donors’ new or increased contributions to the organization, up to $10,000, Executive Director Randall Bennett said Tuesday.

Bennett said trustee Michael S. Stowell of Flagler Beach, Fla., made the offer to help the society reach its 2014 fundraising goal or $46,000.

“Every year, we have an annual fund that we launch in the fall,” Bennett said. “It actually represents just over 30 percent of the organization’s yearly income.”

The money helps “keep the lights on” and “allows the society’s small staff and dedicated volunteers to maintain daily operations and to offer programs and exhibits that make the region’s history meaningful, accessible and enjoyable for adults and school-age children.”

He said anyone who has never donated to the society, or has not donated in more than a year, is considered a new donor.

He said if someone donated $10 one year and decided to donate $30 this year, Stowell would donate $20 to match the increase.


“We’ve had people do things like this in the past, but to my knowledge, this is the largest match from one individual that we’ve had at the society,” Bennett said. “Mike has been a trustee for a few years, but he’s been a longtime supporter of us. He’s donated to the museum many times, and has helped us with our archival collection. I hope that people will respond to Mike’s enthusiasm.”

Bennett also lauded Stowell for “being a great ambassador for the society.”

“The funny thing is that he lives in Florida for most of the year, but he shares more of our Facebook posts than anyone I know,” Bennett said. “It shows that it doesn’t make a difference where you reside. In the age of the Internet, you can still be of tremendous support to something, even though it’s (thousands) of miles away.”

For more information about the annual fund, call the Bethel Historical Society at 824-2908.

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