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Letter: Support the Gregory Museum

Hicksville residents have a chance on May 18 to vote for the biggest bargain in Hicksville, in Proposition 3 for the Hicksville Gregory Museum. For a mere $3.50 per family per year we have a state-chartered museum that focuses on serving the educational needs of our Hicksville school district free of charge, while serving 40 other school districts who pay.

All Hicksville public, parochial and K-12 schools get “hands on” instruction in earth science, natural history and Long Island history. Free instruction is brought to the classroom if preferred. Free “internships” are offered for interested students. All Hicksville residents are welcome to visit the museum free of charge, (otherwise admission to the museum would be $5).

The Hicksville Gregory museum has preserved Hicksville’s one historic site, the 1895 Courthouse on Heitz Place, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Without the preservation efforts of the Gregory Museum housed in it, the beautiful old building would long ago have succumbed to vandalism. The museum is a focal point for local history with exhibits of Hicksville past and present. One current exhibit is that of the ‘Little Red Schoolhouse’, built in 1853. It was Hicksville’s first center of education.

The Hicksville Gregory Museum has a small but dedicated staff who work for minimal wage. Much of the work is done by volunteers. In addition, there are utilities, repairs, insurance, security and all the other expenses of maintenance to sustain and preserve the 100-year-old building. The museum staff and volunteers are constantly at work raising additional funds through grant writing, the gift shop, tours, workshops, rock and mineral sale and all other fundraising activities.

All over Long Island, museums are closing or their services are cut back for lack of financial support. Thanks to the help of the community, the Hicksville Gregory Museum has survived and improved. Let’s keep it that way with our support of Proposition 3 on May 18.

Richard Althaus

President

Hicksville Gregory Museum