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Middleton's Macdonald Museum becomes jail for a day in fundraiser with a twist

Macdonald Museum in Middleton will house a handful of ‘inmates’ May 24 in a fundraiser that will se ‘convicts’ get more than one phone call as they try to raise bail and gain their freedom. But Warden Janice Slauenwhite isn’t making it easy.
Macdonald Museum in Middleton will house a handful of ‘inmates’ May 24 in a fundraiser that will see ‘convicts’ get more than one phone call as they try to raise bail and gain their freedom. But Warden Janice Slauenwhite isn’t making it easy. - Lawrence Powell
MIDDLETON, N.S. —

You’re in the slammer and your good friends are scrambling to raise your bail. But what happens if others think it would be good fun to put together some cash and pay to keep you behind bars?

That’s sort of how Macdonald Museum’s new fundraiser works. Your time in the clink could be lengthy, and time off for good behavior doesn’t figure into it at all.

Museum director Janice Slauenwhite already has a handful of ‘prisoners’ doing hard time and they’ll be given as many phone calls as it takes to raise the cash to gain their freedom.

Warden Slauenwhite has set May 24 as the date for ‘Jail and Bail – with a twist’ fundraiser, and it runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. She’s already solicited select convicts to take part in the event who will be incarcerated in the museum. They’ll each have to raise $1,000 – unless somebody puts money against that bail to keep them in longer.

THE CONVICTS

Some of those ‘convicts’ are well known in the area and include Michael ‘Mike’ Fairn who’s been mixed up with Middleton town council. Then there’s Brian ‘Fuzzy’ Connell known for his involvement with Annapolis County council and his stint at DOT – he’s currently a respected restaurateur.

Capitol Pub owner and new Middleton councillor John ‘The Burger’ Bartlett will be looking for bail money as well. And Greg ‘The Hammer’ Cress from Rona is finally behind bars for a good cause as is Glenn ‘Wheels’ Young from Bruce Auto Group.

Slauenwhite also rounded up some female ‘wrongdoers.’ Christine ‘Bucks’ Beck from Bank of Nova Scotia is doing time with interest. Carolyn ‘The Chemist’ Cox of Pharmasave has a spot in the slammer, and Tanya ‘The Grocer’ Knickle of Foodland will be looking for bail.

“There will be a special guest convict arriving by 10 a.m. that day,” Slauenwhite said in reference to an apparent prisoner transfer from Kings County. She also said people can drop by the museum and see the convicts and take pictures.

Slauenwhite will do a Facebook Live streaming video, so if you want to watch that, go to the museum’s Facebook Page and ‘like’ it in advance to get the alert.

Also that day there will be a barbecue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- hot dogs and cold drinks.

IMPORTANT

The somewhat diabolical museum money maker will help offset the numerous costs the facility incurs in offering numerous exhibits, programs, and archival material to the public.

“Community history, family histories – we have people coming from all over Canada and even in the States looking up family history in our genealogy library,” Slauenwhite said. “Or looking up ‘where was this house?’ ‘My ancestors lived on such-and-such a street. Can you tell me about that house?’ That kind of thing.”

But she said there’s a lot more to the museum than that.

“Also though, apart from our great exhibits, rotating temporary exhibits that we have here, we have the farmers market, we have a lot of workshops for all ages and all interests,” she said. “We’re thrilled that we have seen such a huge increase in visitors in the last year. Over 22,000 people have come through our doors and onto the site in the last year.”

She said the problem is they aren’t raising the money to help keep up with that amount of activity.

“We rely on a small government grant and the rest is up to us to fundraise,” she said. “We are at a point where we really need to fundraise, so if the community wants to continue to see a museum market, and workshops, and events happening in their community in this great building – which happens to be the first consolidated school in Canada – they need to support us. And it needs to be sooner than later.”

The May 24 fundraiser will accept cash, cheques, or etransfers.

CONTACT

GoOnline: http://macdonaldmuseum.ca/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnapolisValleyMacdonaldMuseum/

Phone: 902-825-6116

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