Many thanks to all who participated in our Grand Opening! A crowd of close to 1,000 people of all ages were on hand to witness Janet G. Cohen cut the ribbon to officially open the new Museum. As you know, the new building is named in honor of Janet and her late husband, Harvey D. Cohen. Distinguished guests participating in the opening ceremony included local and state officials, clergy, as well as Holocaust Survivors and their families. We were also pleased to have teacher Michelle Lee with us. Michelle and fellow Golden Gate Middle School teacher David Bell and their 7th grade class created the "Out of the Ashes" Holocaust project which inspired the founding of our Museum in 2001.

Attendance at the new Museum continues to grow. In addition to members of the public, we are hosting many school groups and private group tours as well! The Boxcar Exhibit, which formerly traveled across SWFL, is now on display in front of the Museum. This is attracting quite a bit of visitor traffic, as are the newly placed signs on both northbound and southbound sides of 41 near the Imperial Shopping Center light to indicate the Museum's new location!

Please note - the Museum's domain name has been shortened to "HMCEC.org", so our website address is now " www.HMCEC.org " and our e-mails will end with "@HMCEC.org". Should you happen to use the old addresses, don't worry - they will be automatically redirected to the new name.

Our current temporary exhibit in The Estelle and Stuart Price Gallery is titled The Holodomor . On display through December 17th, The Holodomor highlights the little-known genocide which happened on the eve of World War II in Soviet Ukraine. In 1932-1933, millions of ethnic Ukrainians and other residents died during the man-made famine ordered by Josef Stalin. See "Current Temporary Exhibit" section below for additional details.

The special year-long "Butterflies of Hope and Remembrance" program has begun. Created to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of concentration camps and the end of World War II, the program is co-sponsored by a number of SWFL organizations. Butterflies are seen as symbols of rebirth, and the theme of hope and remembrance has a special resonance with regard to the Holocaust. As part of our Education program activities, students will be decorating butterfly cutouts for display in our classroom and at the other venues hosting the special events scheduled this year.

With 2019 winding down, people are planning their charitable donations before year-end. I hope you will consider a gift to the Museum. There are many ways to support to the Museum. One example is through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA if you are 70 1/2 year of age and older. Please consult your Financial Advisor for more information on this. For other options available to support the Museum, please contact me at Susan@HMCEC.org or call 239-263-9200.

Wishing you and your families a happy and safe holiday season. We thank you for your support as the Museum enters a new chapter, and hope to see you soon!

Susan Suarez
President & CEO