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Press Release

December 1, 2015

Contact: Robbin Davis
Pioneer Woman Museum, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 580-765-6108

Pioneer Woman Museum Launches Duck Sales for Fundraising Campaign

Ponca City, Okla. — "It's expensive to keep this amazing lady looking good," said Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum Director Robbin Davis as she stood in front of the iconic statue. "We need the community's support to raise five-thousand dollars in five weeks," continued Davis. In an effort to raise the funds to cover the cost to clean and maintain the statue, the Friends of the Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum are launching a fundraising effort on Tuesday, December 1, in conjunction with Giving Tuesday, a national movement that encourages donating to your favorite cause.

"Giving Tuesday is a grassroots movement launched by the nonprofit sector about four years ago. It was in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, much the same way as Shop Small Saturday is for local shops. Our Friends group is the fundraising leg of the museum and we are responsible for raising the funds that go toward exhibits and educational programming like our annual summer program, Pioneer Kids, and for big things like cleaning the statue every few years," said Friends Chairperson MaryBeth Moore.

The group is looking to raise five-thousand dollars during the five weeks of December by selling rubber ducks at $25 each. "We kept thinking, how we can make this fun and memorable," said Moore. "How can we get the community involved," she continued. The group kept thinking about giving the statue a bath and during a brainstorming session happened on the idea of the ducks. "Don't we all remember taking a bath with our rubber duckies," chuckled Moore.

"She has been standing, braving the elements for eighty-five years. We have people who still come in to tell us that their grandparents where here for the unveiling in 1930 or that they were small children and can remember being here in the sea of over 40,000 people who were in attendance that historic day," said Davis.

Cleaning and preserving a work of art such as the iconic Pioneer Woman Statue is no easy task. It is a professional job and requires skill as well as patience. The last time the statue was cleaned was approximately six years ago and cost nearly four-thousand dollars. The museum is asking the community to help support this new effort to clean and wax the statue.

"She is a member of our community; of our families. The stories we hear and the pictures we see are testaments to that. Guests tell us all the time that they remember taking the yearly family photo in front of the statue and of sliding under her skirts when they were kids. We love hearing the stories, mostly because she elicits such fondness and happy memories," said Davis.

The monument was conceived, directed, and largely financed by oilman, US Congressman, and 10th Governor of Oklahoma, Ernest Whitworth Marland. It is said that he wanted a monument that would be dedicated to "America's vanishing womanhood."

"Mr. Marland gave this statue to Ponca City, to the country really, as a legacy to our mothers, sisters and aunts who helped settle the West; to the ladies that were strong and determined and would not take 'no' for answer. I admire that," said Davis. "Confident is her name and that is what we are; we are confident that with the help of the community we can raise these funds to continue to preserve the legacy of the women that the Pioneer Woman Statue represents," said Director Davis.

To support the fundraising effort of the Friends of the Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum, you can make a donation by visiting the museum and making it in person, calling them at 580-765-6108 or emailing piown@okhistory.org. To receive a duck for your donation, you are encouraged to visit the museum in person, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Pioneer Woman Museum, a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is located at 701 Monument Rd. in Ponca City. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.

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