Have you ever been the lucky winner of an item at one of the Laurapalooza Auctions? Ever wondered where the money raised by these auctions goes? Do you know how the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association actually supports and preserves the legacy of Laura and the museums dedicated to her memory?
One of the highlights of each Laurapalooza Conference is the auctioning of Little House related items donated by attendees, speakers and supporters. Items such as copies of Pa’s Big Green Book, signed prints by illustrator Renee Graef, quilts made by members and first edition copies of Little House books were just a few of the treasures available for bidding at each of the three past auctions. While it is fun for our members to win one of these special items, the real purpose of each auction is to raise money that goes directly back to the homesites through monetary donations. In 2013, LIWLRA was able to donate $1000 from LP 12’s auction to Rocky Ridge going toward their building fund of their new museum and archives that just opened this spring.
Because of your generous donations, the 2015 Laurapalooza Auction raised over $2000 in proceeds. The LIWLRA Board decided to gift two homesites this year. If you attended the wonderful tour of De Smet you most likely visited the facilities of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes Association. To thank them for their hospitality and to help them purchase much needed archival equipment, the LIWLRA is donating $1000 to the De Smet museum this spring.
Additionally, Connie Neumann, LIWLRA board member, and LIWLRA President Dr. Laura McLemore were thrilled to present Mrs. Jean Coday, Director of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum, a check for $1000 on behalf of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. In addition to many LIWLRA members, Neumann and McLemore were in attendance at the dedication of the beautiful new museum at Rocky Ridge Farm on April 22 in Mansfield, Missouri. Mrs. Coday was delighted to receive this donation and promised that it would be put to good use.
Many thanks to those of you who donated items to the LP15 auction and to those of you who purchased those items. As you look forward to LP17, be thinking about what you could possibly donate to this auction. The more items donated, the more our organization can help preserve the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder with “unwavering support for the homesites” as our mission states. Thank you!