Role Of the Air Force Armament Museum Foundation
The AFAM Foundation was incorporated in 1976 with the specific purpose of funding and supporting the AFAM. It is a not-for-profit corporation and is authorized to solicit funds by the State of Florida. The Foundation has received an Internal Revenue Service Ruling letter pursuant to paragraph 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.
The Foundation is totally self-supporting and is debt free. A small staff of employees manages the Foundation offices and operates the gift shop. Proceeds from gift shop sales annually exceed the Foundation budget. Members of the Board of Directors are not compensated. The Board is comprised of many of the leading business persons from cities throughout Okaloosa County.
The Foundation Director of Operations works closely with the Armament Museum Director to identify Museum needs that can be readily supported by the Foundation. The Director of Operations is authorized to approve $300 to support any Museum project or exhibit. An exhibit or project that would require Foundation support above $300 is considered by the Foundation Executive Committee. Large expensive projects are defined and coordinated between the Foundation and the Air Force through meetings of the Armament Museum Steering Committee. Membership on this committee usually consists of the Foundation President, Vice President for Development and one additional Director. Air Force representation consists of the Base Commander, a senior official from Civil Engineering and any other members the Base Commander may deem appropriate. Memorandums of Agreement cover all such efforts.
Some of the projects that have been successfully completed in this manner are:
- Construction of the Armament Museum
- Construction of the Schriever Plaza
- The SR-71 Exhibit
- Construction of the Restoration/Storage Facility
This Foundation believes that the Armament Museum, in order to better serve the Air Force, must recognize its potential impact on area youth. Accordingly, the Foundation is embarking on a mission to raise $1.5 million in order to build an educational annex that we hope will lead to the development and implementation of a meaningful education program. We envision an educational outreach program that will enhance area youth interest and ambition to become productive members of the U.S. Air Force. We believe such a program would be mutually beneficial to the Museum and local community and enhance the ability of the Foundation to obtain state funds, private grants, endowments and other contributions.
The Museum Triangle:
The Armament Museum was constructed within a triangle of land owned by Eglin Air Force Base. Eglin Parkway, Lewis Turner Boulevard and Highway 85 border this triangle of land. The Foundation believes it to be in the best interests of the Museum and the Air Force to dedicate all the land within this triangle (save the Gulf Power substation and right-of-ways) to Museum growth and future use. The Foundation is now working with the Museum Director and Civil Engineering to insure that this is reflected in Eglin CE comprehensive plans.