I've been working behind the scenes for several weeks, now, to create the organization that makes LauraPalooza possible. It began with discussions last summer, as the group behind Beyond Little House, and several of our online friends, met in De Smet to work out plans for the conference. It became evident that, even with the support of Minnesota State University, Mankato, we were going to need financial help to plan and pull off what we have in mind for this summer.
It emerged that what we really needed was a singular new, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and encouragement of research surrounding Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, the Little House sites, and their legacies. This organization could act as the major sponsor for the conference and any future conferences, as well as act to support the work of the sites and researchers. We want to act as a clearinghouse, a gathering space for scholars and fans, academics and educators, and all who have something to contribute or who are simply interested in learning more about these remarkable women and the heritage they've left behind.
A great deal of effort goes into the actual founding of an organization, however. To be official and legal, we've had to establish a name, bylaws, and financial accounts. I'm still working on the paperwork to make us a non-profit organization with the IRS. But if our new Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association were a house, I would say all the support beams are in place. The logs have been rolled, and the latch-string is out.
If you're interested in supporting this work, you can help by buying a t-shirt or becoming a member. Members get membership cards and a 10 percent discount on any merchandise we can dream up to help us support the organization. Every dime goes to support the work of the conference and provide you the opportunities to share in the wonderful LIW/RWL research being conducted around the globe.
Just go to the LIWLRA T-Shirts post, download the form, and send it to me with your check. If you'd rather, you can email me your information, and I can send you an invoice via PayPal. T-shirts will be printed this month, and if you've already sent in your order form, you'll get yours as soon as they come off the press.
We appreciate all you do.