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SEATTLE—At the ground breaking ceremony today for The Museum of Flight’s new Personal Courage Wing, capital campaign steering committee chairman Tom T. O’Keefe announced that the Museum has already raised $38.8 million toward the estimated $59.3 million project. O’Keefe, chairman of Seattle-based Tully’s Coffee, will spearhead fund raising for the Museum’s ten-year, three-phase master expansion plan. The 88,000-square-foot Personal Courage Wing announced today is the first phase.
“Planning, design work and quiet fund raising for this exciting project have been going on since 1999,” said O’Keefe, “but the Museum’s Board of Trustees did not give final approval to begin construction until its members were assured of a sufficiently high level of community support for the project. We move forward today into the public phase of our fund-raising efforts with tremendous confidence in that support and with great satisfaction that nearly two-thirds of the needed funds have already been received or pledged.”
Included in the $38.8 million figure are personal financial commitments from all 58 of the Museum’s trustees. According to Board of Trustees chairman H. Eugene McBrayer, “We felt it was vitally important to have unanimous Board support for the expansion plan and that this support be expressed concretely, not just rhetorically. As we present the Museum’s vision to the community, I believe that all the trustees speak with one enthusiastic voice about the great things our plans will accomplish here. I’m confident that our unanimity of purpose—together with the energetic leadership of Tom O’Keefe and his fellow steering committee members—will see this campaign concluded successfully and on time.”
Also counted among the funds committed to date is $5.8 million in the form of a gift of land to the Museum from The Boeing Co. According to Museum president and chief executive officer Ralph Bufano, “The Museum has faced the fundamental dilemma of being landlocked since the opening of our Great Gallery in 1987. Boeing’s generous gift was the key we needed to make our longstanding vision of expansion a reality. The land provides the space we need to re-define the Museum and the experience we offer our visitors.”
With today’s announcement, O’Keefe’s steering committee commences the public phase of the capital campaign. “I am thrilled to be involved with The Museum of Flight,” said O’Keefe, who also carries the title “head barista” at Tully’s. ”The Museum uses the universal appeal and wonder of flight to inspire children to strive and to achieve in the areas of math, science, history and more. It is a dynamic institution with a firm grounding in the past and a compelling vision for the future. My father was a proud Boeing engineer and pilot, so working with the Museum is not only a natural extension of my interest in our youth but also a kind of tribute to my father. I’m very excited to lend a hand.”
O’Keefe founded Tully’s in 1992. Additionally, he is president and chief executive officer of O’Keefe Development Corp., a real estate development and investment firm. O’Keefe and his wife Cathy have a long-standing record of involvement in charitable and community organizations focused on youth. They co-founded the Patrons of Cystic Fibrosis and the Juvenile Diabetes Guild of Seattle. O’Keefe has also worked extensively with and is a board member of organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Children’s Hospital, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Virginia Mason Hospital.
Other business and community leaders on the Museum’s expansion capital campaign steering committee include:
Charles Black, Union Bank of California
Ralph A. Bufano, The Museum of Flight
J. Kevin Callaghan, Badgley, Phelps & Bell
Harold E. Carr, The Boeing Co. (retired)
Carolyn Corvi, The Boeing Co.
James A. Curtis, Milliman & Robertson (retired)
John M. Fluke Jr., Fluke Capital Management
Michael Friedline, The Museum of Flight
Dick Friel, Aviation Partners
Robert J. Genise, Boullioun Aviation Services
Michael R. Hallman, Microsoft Corp. (retired)
Nancy M. Hogan, community volunteer
James T. Johnson, Gulfstream Aerospace (retired)
Edwin C. Laird, Air Cargo Management
Bruce R. McCaw, Pistol Creek
Harold F. Olsen, Perkins Coie
Theodore R. Pappas, D. A. Davidson
William Rademaker Jr., William E. Boeing Enterprises
R. Stockton Rush, Remote Control Technology
Sam Smith, Washington State University
David Wyman, Wyvest
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF FLIGHT
The independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world. The Museum’s collection includes more than 135 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the Red Barn—the original manufacturing facility of The Boeing Co. The Museum’s aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 100,000 children are served annually by the Museum’s on-site and outreach educational programs—the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum of Flight is one of only 750 museums in the nation and nine in Washington state that are fully accredited by the American Association of Museums.