HOURS OF WATER FUN! Great River exhibit is open, plus enjoy more water fun with H2Oh! Splash Water Park this summer.

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Philanthropic Successes

Discover our past that has brought us to today.

Building on the vision of our founders, it is through the generosity of Memphians like you that the Children’s Museum of Memphis exists today. Continue reading to learn more about our philanthropic successes.

Founding Campaign

Prior to opening its doors in 1990, the Children’s Museum of Memphis planning group had to raise money to transform the National Guard Armory at the corner of Central and Hollywood into a museum made for children. With its first unrestricted gift of $25,000 from Trammell Crow Co. and a $300,000 challenge gift from the Plough Foundation, the planning group had their foundation on which to raise funds. The group successfully raised $3 million to undertake the construction.

The Children’s Museum of Memphis is indebted to the following companies and individuals who believed in the vision of our founders.

Legacy Society

Legacy Society

The museum is honored to recognize the following individuals and companies who, through their generous philanthropic support, have inspired generations of children to explore, imagine, and create.

Endless Possibilities ($1 million+)

  • The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc.
  • City of Memphis
  • FedEx
  • International Paper
  • Plough Foundation

Imagine ($500,000+)

  • AutoZone
  • John and Katherine Dobbs
  • Mr.* and Mrs. William B. Dunavant Jr.
  • Ann and Mason Hawkins
  • Nineteenth Century Club*
  • Shelby County Government
  • Urban Child Institute

*Deceased or permanently closed

Donor List

The City of Memphis
Richard C. Hackett, Mayor

Auto-Chlor System
Big Star Supermarkets
Browning-Ferris Industries
The Children’s Foundation of Memphis (formerly the Crippled Children’s Hospital Foundation)
William B. Dunavant, Jr.
First Horizon Bank (formerly First Tennessee Bank)
Ann and Mason Hawkins
Paul Tudor Jones, II
Junior League of Memphis
Kraft General Foods
Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Phillips, Sr.
Plough Foundation
The Promus Companies
The Van Vleet Foundation

Connie and Dunbar Abston
The Hyde Foundation
National Bank of Commerce

Elizabeth and Bayard Boyle
Mr. and Mrs. B. Snowden Boyle, Jr.
Financial Federal Savings Bank
Bob, Susie, Tyler, and Ashton Fisher
Polly and Ray Glotzbach
Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Hussey
Brig Klyce
Ellen Klyce
Lichterman-Loewenberg Foundation
Harriet and John McFadden
The H. Harwood Phillips Family
Charlotte and Todd Robbins
Schering-Plough Heathcare Products
Target Stores/Dayton Hudson Foundation
Terminix International
Trammel Crow Company
Union Planters National Bank
Margaret and Abbott Widdicome

Connie and Lou Adams
Boatmen’s Bank of Tennessee
The C.H. Boyle Foundation
The Commercial Appeal
Dr. and Mrs. John R. Emmett
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Love Fisher
The Ford Motor Company
Meg and Charles Gerber
IDS Financial Services, Inc., An American Express Company
Henry L. Levy, Goldman, Sachs & Company
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Levy
Memphis-Shelby County Medical Society Auxiliary
NewSouth Capital Management Corporation
Otolaryngology Consultants of Memphis
Ruch Clinic, PC
The Schadt Foundation
Public Education Sponsorship Funding from Shelby County 911

“It Takes Real Dough” Expansion Campaign

In just 10 years, the popularity of the children’s museum necessitated an expansion. With a goal of $6 million, museum leadership envisioned expanding the museum by 16,000 square feet to better serve the children and families of Memphis. In 2001, the campaign had raised more than $7.2 million. Construction kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 23, 2001, with the expanded museum re-opening on August 3, 2002.

The following companies and individuals believed “it takes real dough” to expand the footprint of the Children’s Museum of Memphis.

Donor List

City of Memphis

$500,000 +
The Assisi Foundation of Memphis
LHS, Inc.
The Plough Foundation
Shelby County Government

Mr. & Mrs. Sam Buchbinder
The Henry & Virginia Clark Family
Concord EFS
Mr. & Mrs. J. Lester Crain, Jr.
Mr. William B. Dunavant, Jr.
FedEx Corporation
Hyde Family Foundations
Mr. & Mrs. Edward Labry III
Lichterman-Loewenberg Foundation
Mr. & Mrs. Stillman McFadden
Mr. & Mrs. Allen B. Morgan, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Dan Palmer
Mr. & Mrs. Clifton B. Phillips
Mrs. Harry Phillips, Sr.
Thomas W. Briggs Foundation
Dr. & Mrs. Edmund Utkov
The Van Vleet Foundation
William E. Weiss Foundation

$50,000 +
The Commercial Appeal
Mr. & Mrs. William B. Dunavant III
Harriet & Jake McFadden
Morgan Keegan & Company
Orgill, Inc.
Martha R. Robinson
Mr. & Mrs. John W. Stokes, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Lewis C. Williamson, Jr.
Wunderlich Securities, Inc.

Mr. & Mrs. Clarence C. Braswell II
Mr. & Mrs. George E. Cates
CB Richard Ellis
The Children’s Foundation of Memphis
Nancy R. Copp
Drexel Chemical
Financial Federal Savings Bank
Intrepid Aviation Partners Group, LLC
Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division
Mr. & Mrs. Henry Morgan
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph M. Morrison
M.S. Carriers
Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Reckert
The Schadt Foundation
Smith & Nephew Orthopedics
Austin Smith & Katie Smith
Mr. & Mrs. Michael B. Turley

Memphis Grand Carousel

In 2014, museum leadership signed a lease with the City of Memphis for the historic 1909 Dentzel Grand Carousel once housed at neighboring Libertyland Amusement Park. After a complete restoration in June 2015, the Memphis Grand Carousel was once again available to Memphis in its new home at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. The Carousel Pavilion opened to the public on December 2, 2017.

The Children’s Museum of Memphis is grateful for the generous support from the following individuals and corporations.

Donor List

The Assisi Foundation of Memphis
Jon and Cathy Bascom
Richard and Debbie Binswanger
Hal Brunt and Buzzy Hussey
Frank and Cindy Childress
Marshall and Sue Clark
Hal and Lucia Crenshaw
Cumulus Media Memphis *
Art Davis and Randall Bennett
Delta United Specialties *
Delta Dental | Smile 180 Foundation
Dobbs Management Services
Edward and Cindy Dobbs
John and Katherine Dobbs
Cliff Drake
Simon and Jennifer Ellis
FedEx Corporation *
The Finished Product *
Jerry and Mitzi Frederick
Michael and Elise Frick
Gaines and Associates PLLC
Graceland/Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
Letha Granberry
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Hackett
Richard and Kathleen Hackett
Deana Harmer
Jesse and Hetta Heath
Larry and Lynn Heathcott
Richard and Julie Hussey
Mr. and Mrs. Paul T. Jones II
Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation
Brig Klyce
Ellen Klyce
Bobby and JJ Krauch
Lichterman Loewenberg Foundation
The Lighting Source *
Pat Lyerly
Richard and Shannon Mattern
Montgomery and Laura Martin
Randall McKeel and Randy Fergie
Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau
David and Jill Montanez
Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC
Thayne and Anne Muller
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Mulroy
William Nation
National Carousel Association
Sean and Melissa Nelson
Eric and Elvira Ormseth
Stephen and Missy Perkins
Pickle Iron *
Joseph and Billie Pierce
Plough Foundation
Greer and Carol Richardson
Joel and Carrie Roberts
Sharon Rogness
Meryl Shahun Rosen
The Honorable and Mrs. James Rout
Terri Saunders
Save Libertyland
Ike Seelbinder
Oscar W. Seelbinder, Jr.
Sally Johnson Shy Foundation
Nancy Welsh Smith
Tracy and Bettye Speake
David P. Sutton
Michael and Shelly Thannum
Richard and Jan Tillman
Frederic Thesmar
Mary Lou Thesmar
Keith and Anne Townsend
William and Elizabeth Webb
Beth White, White Door Events
Esie and Kevin Williams
Lewis and Barbara Williamson
Ronald and Dawn Young

* Denotes an in-kind contribution of goods or services to the campaign.

COVID-19 Relief Funding

CMOM is grateful for the following donors who supported the museum during COVID-19 closures, enabling the museum to thrive.

Funding List

  • Tennessee Arts Commission
    Supported in whole or in part by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • U.S. Small Business Association
    Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
  • TN Cares Act Grant
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • Payment Protection Plan (PPP) loans
    CMOM received two PPP loans, and both have been forgiven.

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