State Farm Sponsors $1.5m Theater in New LeMay Museum

LeMay Museum goes ‘Hollywood’ in celebration
of $1.5 million sponsorship from State Farm
America’s largest car insurer will sponsor theatre in the new museum,
set for groundbreaking near Tacoma Dome in 2007

(Tacoma, WA) – In its own Hollywood-style event, The Harold E. LeMay Museum will celebrate a $1.5 million sponsorship from State Farm for a theater in its new facility.

“Our sponsorship of the LeMay Museum is in keeping with State Farm’s efforts to help educate people about the importance of driver safety,” said Harold Gray, State Farm’s senior vice president for the Pacific Northwest. “We’re delighted to work with auto enthusiasts in creation of a facility that will bring people from across the country.” “As the largest insurer of cars in the US for the last 64 years, our sponsorship of the LeMay museum is a natural extension of our core business”, said Tim Vanhoof, Director of Marketing for State Farm.

State Farm will receive naming rights to the new museum’s theatre, said museum Chief Executive Officer David Madeira. The current design calls for the theater to feature a 360-degree, “in-the-round” concept, with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, although the exact specifications have yet to be finalized, he said.

“State Farm’s sponsorship shows the strong nationwide interest that exists for creation of a new LeMay Museum,” Madeira said. “We also want this event to give credit to the local support we have received.”

Red-carpet event June 20
The sponsorship will be celebrated with a Hollywood-style event starting at 1:30 p.m. June 20 at the LeMay family estate, 13502 C St., southeast of Tacoma. A red carpet will welcome invited participants who will see classic cars from the museum’s collection including a number with celebrity provenance.

Thos. L. Bryant, vice president and editor-in-chief of Road & Track magazine, and a member of the museum’s Steering Committee, will emcee the event. Bryant has been involved with the magazine since 1972 and is among the foremost writers and opinion makers on the automobile industry today.

“For anyone who’s ever driven or been a passenger in an automobile, the new LeMay Museum will be a dream factory, just like Hollywood,” said Bryant. “The dream of a new museum is as a result of hard work, planning and local and national support.”

Later this month and through the summer the “Hollywood” cars featured at the event will be on display at the LeMay Museum, located on the grounds of the former Marymount Academy, 423 E. 152nd St. in Tacoma.

Event participants, besides Gray, Madeira, and Bryant, will include Nancy LeMay, the wife of the late Harold LeMay.

Local support growing
The State Farm sponsorship comes as the museum has received significant support from local foundations and increased membership from individuals.

The Titus-Will Family Foundation recently pledged $500,000 for the new museum as did the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation. Each of these foundations will be honored with a named facility in the new Museum.

Overall, the “Drive for America’s Car Museum” has raised $47.8 million, more than a third of the way toward the campaign goal of $140 million, Madeira said. Also, the museum has 1,352 charter members, nearly double from 2002.

“As we look toward the start of construction, we have received tremendous support both locally and from across the country,” Madeira said. “We all recognize the value of having this national treasure in Tacoma.”

Museum on track for 2009 opening
Groundbreaking for the new museum is set for mid-2007 with formal opening expected in 2009, Madeira said. The location will be across the street from the Tacoma Dome, near Interstate 5 and I-705.
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