Buried treasure, 50/50 raffle elements of pandemic-era fundraising at Glebe House Museum in Woodbury

Connecticut

WOODBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The coronavirus pandemic dealt a serious blow to fundraising by nonprofits, but one museum in Woodbury is getting creative.

Somewhere underneath the back yard of the Glebe House Museum is buried treasure. Or at least, there will be.

“Three Civil War-era silver coins will be buried in our yard back here,” explained Glebe House director LoriAnn Witte

The Glebe House dates back to the 1740s. It became a museum in 1925. Two years ago, News 8 told you about efforts to renovate the garden along the lines of a plan created for the house by famous British garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.

This year, Witte and her staff have had to adapt to the pandemic.

“We figured out a way to have tours come through and have people still come through the doors and see the house and learn about the house and learn about the history here,” said Witte.

The bigger challenge for the museum was raising money.

“Our fundraising is event-driven. We have wonderful big events,” Witte said. “People come and people are very generous and very supportive.”

Big events are just what they don’t want during the pandemic, so they decided on a 50-50 raffle, but with a historical twist.

That is where those old coins buried in the back yard come in. They’re going to cover the yard in temporary lines, like a football field.

“And we’ll actually create a large grid our here which will take up the whole yard and it will be 1,200 spaces. Every space corresponds with a ticket,” said Witte.

Each ticket costs $25. If each ticket sells, that is $30,000. Fifteen thousand goes to the museum, and $5,000 each to the three people on whose grid squares the coins are found. The big event is on Sunday, Nov. 8.

“We are going to have a costumed character from our history out there with a metal detector, and they are going to go find the three coins.”

If the treasure hunt sounds like fun to you and you want to support the Glebe House, you can call (203) 263-2855 or email office@glebehousemuseum.org

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