THE MUSEUM OF IDAHO | Courtesy Photo

THE MUSEUM OF IDAHO | Courtesy Photo

Basic American Foods donated $50,000 to the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls April 16.

The museum plans to use this and other donations to help expand its facilities, according to The Museum of Idaho.

Nick Gailey, director of development for the Museum of Idaho, said he is excited for the upcoming changes.

“May 8, we are opening our latest exhibition: Real Pirates,” Gailey said.

Gailey said the museum plans to use the donation to increase space for future exhibits.

He said they will also use the money to upkeep maintenance at the museum.

“The creation of an endowment-type sustainability fund of $3 million and a $3 million expansion of the museum are both deemed necessary to ensure that the MOI will continue to be able to serve our community forever,” Gailey said. “In a short time, we have raised $1.7 million for the Sustainability Fund and over $2 million for the expansion of the MOI.”

All donations made to the museum are managed carefully, and donations can be used as a tax credit, according to the Museum of Idaho’s website.

Ninety-one cents of every dollar donated to the Museum of Idaho goes directly to sustaining the museum’s current programs.

The new Real Pirates Exhibition will be on display from May 8 to Nov. 28, according to the Museum of Idaho website.

David Pennock, the executive director for the Museum of Idaho said the donation from Basic American Foods will be used to maintain the current programs as well as the day-to-day functions of the museum.

Pennock said the donation will have an impact on the community for this generation and generations to come.

Gailey said the museum has been an important part of Eastern Idaho’s community for a long time.

“It is true that we have enjoyed a wonderful 12 years with over 1,200,000 visitors attending our exhibitions, including more than 200,000 students on field trips,” Gailey said.

Local non-profit institutions rely heavily on the community for donations because revenue from admission fees and gift shop sales cover roughly 40 percent of operating costs, according to the Museum of Idaho’s website.

Tasha Huff, a sophomore studying nursing, said she has never been to the Museum of Idaho but will be going to the upcoming Real Pirates exhibit and is excited about it.

“I’ve never seen an exhibit that looks interesting until now,” Huff said. “I think this pirate one could be pretty cool.”

Makayla Paulson, a junior studying nursing, said she looks forward to seeing the changes to the museum.

“I think it’s great that these donations will help preserve something in our community,” Paulson said.