An online fund raising campaign has kicked off to raise money for a feasibility study to determine the viability of locating the New Jersey Hall of Fame and branches of the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the city.
Michael Symonds, who is spearheading the fundraising campaign, said the group needs $10,000 to conduct the feasibility study to determine the cost of bringing the three museums to the Silk City.
So far he said there’s been two pledges from the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) and the Paterson Restoration Corporation (PRC) in the amount of $6,000. The PRC’s pledge is a matching contribution that requires the group to raise an additional $3,000.
“To be able to do the study we need $10,000,” said Symonds. The online crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo has raised $600 as of Sunday afternoon.
Symonds has asked council members to pitch in. Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, contributed $100 to the study fund.
Sayegh has been a key backer of locating the New Jersey Hall of Fame — currently a mobile exhibit in a large bus-trailer without a permanent home — at the Great Falls National Park.
Symonds said there are many great benefits of having three world class museums in the city. “Imagine our school kids being able to access three considerable resources literally at the end of the street,” he said.
Students won’t be the sole beneficiaries of the three museums so will the city itself by attracting tourists who will fuel local economic growth, said Symonds.
“This whole initiative has a huge upside for the city of Paterson,” said Symonds. “We all believe this could be a huge boost for the city.”
Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres has also expressed his support for locating the hall of fame in the city. Symonds pointed out both Sayegh and Torres, who are intractable foes, are on the same side when it comes to bringing the New Jersey Hall of Fame to the city.
Symonds is asking interested parties to donate online via Indiegogo.com. Click here to contribute to the feasibility study fund.
“We need everybody to pitch in,” said Symonds.