Children's museum requests ATAX money for improvements

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Children's Museum of South Carolina was just one of about thirty non-profit agencies to request money from the Accommodations Tax.

In the next few months, Myrtle Beach City Council will distribute that money. Since so many more groups are asking for help from the city, the museum leaders are asking for less than in previous years, in hopes of getting a small piece of the pie.

The museum General Manager, Melanie McMurrain, said for the past 12 years, the museum has dwindled down what they originally started out asking for: $120,000 of ATAX money.

This year the museum made the request for $70,000. The last two years they've received $40,000 to put towards improvements. If the museum is awarded money for 2014, it will be used for outside marketing, signage, and new exhibits.

Fifty-five percent of the people who visit the museum aren't from Horry and Georgetown counties, so according to McMurrain, the outside marketing will continue to pull visitors in. McMurrain said the museum wants to place a more visible sign out on Oak Street to direct people into where the facility is located.

"We are a much older museum, that's why we've been improving on our exhibits and bringing in new ones, because sometimes when people come from larger cities they're very surprised with our museum. Our goal is to meet where they are and provide it bigger and better," said McMurrain.

The capital campaign to build a new museum kicked off in 1999, but was canceled in 2008 due to financial reasons, according to McMurrain. There is no immediate decision to bring it back.

On Sunday a "Thanks-for-giving" event will be held at noon. A $10 donation will get the entire family in for free.

If someone makes a $100 donation, then 100 kid tickets are given for free admission until September of 2014. Also there is a paint-a-tile donation where you make a donation and then get to paint a ceiling tile in the museum.

Plan your visit and see other upcoming events at the museum here:

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