Who Do We Serve?

by Tim Bartholomaus, WMC Board President

 WMC Board President, Tim Bartholomaus, teaching the 2017 Field Studies college students on the Root Glacier - Photo: Will Chang

WMC Board President, Tim Bartholomaus, teaching the 2017 Field Studies college students on the Root Glacier - Photo: Will Chang

The Wrangell Mountains Center is a non-profit organization. We exist to provide value to others, not to enrich our leadership or non-existent shareholders. Our Board of Directors is entirely volunteer and the compensation earned by our hard-working staff is meager in dollars, though hopefully rich in experiences. So, why do we exist? Who benefits from the Wrangell Mountains Center?

In my view, the Wrangell Mountains Center is a service organization, and we serve a community far more expansive than the readers of this newsletter. We serve the children and families who attend our Family Music Camp. We serve the students who enroll in the college Field Studies program (the founding purpose of the Wrangell Mountains Center). We serve those who walk into the Old Hardware Store, curious about our historic and charming facility. We serve the researchers we host as they deepen understanding of our landscape and share that understanding with others. We serve all those curious about the natural world, who engage with our natural history programming, or attend our Summer Arts & Lectures Series. We serve everyone inspired by our programming or staff. As our current mission states, the Wrangell Mountains Center exists to connect people with wildlands through art, science, and education in the Wrangell Mountains.

 2017 Mountain Arts & Science for Youth - Photo: Lara Applebaum

2017 Mountain Arts & Science for Youth - Photo: Lara Applebaum

But we at the Wrangell Mountains Center are able to serve only with a lot of help – your help. You may own a cabin in McCarthy, or live in a big city in the Lower 48. You may have floated from McCarthy to Chitina this summer with our acclaimed writers’ workshop, or once dropped a twenty dollar bill in the donations jar and signed our guest book. But you, you who are reading this annual record of WMC goings-on, play an essential role in our service and mission. We cannot serve all those we do without your help. Your donations, regardless of size, enable us to transform lives, bring families closer together and closer to nature, enhance appreciation of our favorite mountain environment, and bring wildland-inspired art and knowledge into the world.

 2017 Cornell-Franklin & Marshall Swallow Research Team - Photo: Cedric Zimmer

2017 Cornell-Franklin & Marshall Swallow Research Team - Photo: Cedric Zimmer

Donations make up nearly one third of our operating income. Some programs, while central to our mission, could not be offered without your generosity. I hope you will join me and many of your friends, fellow explorers, curious souls, and lovers of mountain culture in continuing to give so that the WMC may continue to serve next year, and in the years to come. Give not for yourself, but for all those who have not yet encountered the Wrangell Mountains Center. I, and all the other Board members, staff, and volunteers working to serve our constituents and meet our mission, thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.

Click HERE to learn how you can help support the WMC today.

This is an article from the 2017/18 Hardware Store Herald. Download the full Herald by clicking HERE.