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ConocoPhillips Alaska Donates $25,000 to Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center

Fairbanks, Alaska – ConocoPhillips Alaska presented a check for $25,000 last week to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center (MTCVC) to help complete the final phase of the Center’s exhibits. This latest gift brings the total amount donated by ConocoPhillips to $105,000 since their first gift in 2005. Jarrot Handy, Vice President of North Slope Operations, presented the check to MTCVC Board President Charlene Marth during a reception welcoming Tanana Chiefs Conference delegates to Fairbanks for their annual convention.

“ConocoPhillips is especially pleased to be a part of the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center here in Fairbanks.” said Handy. “I was able to quickly tour the Center before coming to present our check. I can see why it's such a source of pride to your community and a tribute to a beloved leader. We are proud to be able to contribute and look forward to continuing our partnership with your community.”

The majority of the Center’s exhibits opened in 2009, however one section was put on hold due to lack of funding. “As a partnership of three non-profit organizations, we’ve taken it slow and moved forward when funding is secure,” said Marth. “This gift from ConocoPhillips is extremely important because it is helping us get the last section of our exhibits finished.” According to Marth, the exhibits that are already installed tell the story of ‘how we live’ in Interior Alaska. The next phase which is currently being installed continues that story with a focus on the visitor to Alaska – helping them experience how we live and what we do.

The ConocoPhillips donation brings the total raised for the MTCVC project to $29.1 million , with an estimated $175,000 still needed. Construction of the MTCVC facility and Phase I of the exhibits was funded with a combination of federal ($16.7M), state ($7.6M), and private ($4.5M) funds. The project required a small line of credit during the construction phase, but that has been paid off and the Center is now debt free.

Incorporated in 2004 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center is a partnership between the Alaska Public Lands Information Center, Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tanana Chiefs Conference Cultural Programs, Alaska Geographic, and Denakkanaaga, an Alaska Native Elders’ organization. Through exhibits and programs, the new 32,720 square foot multi-use facility’s mission is to 1) celebrate Interior Alaska’s people, land and culture, 2) promote economic development via tourism, with an emphasis in rural Alaska, and 3) to be a community gathering place, where diverse cultures come together to understand, appreciate, and respect one another. The Center is open 7 days a week year round, 8am-5pm in the winter, and 8am-9pm in the summer and has served 95,000 people so far in 2012. For more information, visit www.morristhompsoncenter.org.

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