Funding campaign takes off for museum at Aviation Heritage Park

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BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (WBKO) -- Board members at Aviation Heritage Park are one step closer to opening a 12,000-square foot museum on the park's property.

They broke ground Wednesday on their capital campaign to fund the project that has been in the works all year.

"It's been nine months of work, but here we are," said AHP President Joe Tinius, referring to the the last time he spoke with 13 News about the project in January.

According to AHP's research, Bowling Green would be just the fourth city in the United States home to an aviation museum, a railway museum, and an automobile museum (the others would be Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Philadelphia).

Some people believe that could be a spark for tourism in the area, as it's something visitors already enjoy.

"Our trains, planes, and automobiles is a very popular theme that [visitors] find to enjoy, and have a lot of fun with," said Janet Henderson of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

The funding campaign is already off to a hot start.

One anonymous donor pledged $500,000 dollars Wednesday afternoon, with one caveat; it has to be matched by other donors.

Diane Hunton is a visitor of the Park, and a recent donor. She recently pledged $100 in order to see her father's name on one of the bricks that pave the grounds at AHP.

Wednesday was the first time she saw her late father's brick.

"We're from New Jersey so this is a way of honoring my Dad where I live [now], and I'm just very excited about that," she said, "not just for my dad's sake, but for everybody here because everyone hear has a special reason for this."

Joe Tinius says no donation goes unnoticed.

"Individuals that can make pledges, large and small, every bit will help in making this dream a reality," he explained.

To date, the park has raised $400,000 dollars toward the museum.

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