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Hannibal’s Mark Twain Boyhood Home Wins Fundraising Contest

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum narrowly defeated The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Conn., in the first “Dollar at the Door” challenge in July.

The challenge? Ask for a $1 endowment donation with each museum ticket purchase. The goal? Raise money for each museum and establish a friendly annual competition.

The contest winner had to raise the most endowment dollars per ticket sold.

The Hannibal Home raised $2,190.70 and sold 6,207 tickets, or $0.3529 per ticket sold. The Hartford House raised $2,207.70 and sold 6,473 tickets, and made $0.3411 per ticket sold.

Mark Twain Boyhood Home - Hannibal, Missouri
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“We’re looking forward to having our fence whitewashed,” Hannibal Home executive director Henry Sweets said. “This contest, win or lose, helped both of our museums raise money for future projects and we thank everyone who contributed.”

As a result, executive director of the Hartford House, Cindy Lovell, will travel to Hannibal and whitewash Tom’s famous fence.

Lovell will also bring a Twain artifact to loan to the Hannibal Home for one year: the original illustration of Huckleberry Finn for the frontispiece of the first edition of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Endowment funds ensure the long-term success and preservation of each museum’s historic properties. Both homes are on the National Register of Historic Places and are National Historic Landmarks.

The dollar at the door campaign began at the Hannibal Home in Oct. 2009, launched by former executive director Lovell. Since then, volunteers and staff have raised more than $25,000 for the endowment fund. The Hartford House staff launched their campaign in April 2013 and they have raised almost $6,000.

The houses will renew the endowment fund competition in May, June and July 2014.

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