A fundraising event for the 20th Century Technology Museum through the form of a drive-in movie will happen next month thanks to a Wharton teenager who came up with the idea recently.
But there is a lot of work to be done.
Macie Hartzog, 17, shared her vision with Wharton Economic Development officials, and now the October event needs support.
If all goes well, the drive-in movie will be held at the Wharton High School stadium parking lot on Saturday, Oct. 24.
The idea was discussed during a Wharton Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Board of Directors meeting on Monday, Sept. 21. WEDC leaders liked it so much they unanimously approved it, giving Hartzog the green light to proceed.
She told the board that she plans to recruit food trucks and would like to sell enough tickets for 200 to 300 cars to attend.
“I am currently seeking sponsors from local businesses to aid in the expense of movie equipment rental and movie licensing costs,” Hartzog said.
Her attachment for the museum began when she was a little girl. Hartzog said she started going to the museum, which is currently having its displays set up and constructed, since she was 9 years old.
In a letter addressed to the WEDC board, she said the following: “I found it fascinating the first time I visited, and every time after I continued to learn something new. Missing it terribly since it was flooded in Hurricane Harvey, I have decided to try and help in its reopening, repairing of displays, restoring damaged items from the collection, and its ability to stay open to the public by organizing a fundraising event.”
She believes the museum, which was flooded in 2017, has so much to offer based on what it was before Harvey destroyed it.
“It appeals to the young and old. It is free of charge which gives everyone in the community a chance to utilize it, but it has also been known in the past to draw people in from outside of our community for tours,” Hartzog said in her letter. “These tour groups many times were bused in to see the museum then proceeded to eat at our local restaurants and visit the shops around the square. Anytime we can help bring in outside support to our town is a win for us.”
Before COVID-19, the Wharton Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture hosted tours here. One of the Wharton stops was the museum, like Hartzog’s letter alludes to. WCCA hosted these tours as late as last year, with the Wharton County Courthouse being one of the main attractions.
She relayed her message about how WEDC could assist.
“I am aware you most likely won’t be able to help us in a monetary way, but I’m hoping you might be able to in the way of something such as printing flyers and/or posters, and possibly some form of advertising,” Hartzog said.