A public fundraising effort for a permanent home for B-29 “Doc” has raised less than a tenth of its $100,000 goal.
And there’s less than a month to go in Doc’s Friends’ Kickstarter campaign, which will account for a portion of the $6.5 million hangar and education center at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport. The group plans to break ground next month.
“It’s just an added sense of urgency,” Doc’s Friends spokesman Josh Wells said Thursday. “I think … we’ve got to do a little more, broader reach.”
Wells said the Kickstarter is only one part of the public fundraiser, which also includes sales of inscribed bricks and granite tiles that will be placed at the 32,000-square-foot building, which will be along the 1700 block of South Airport Road. More than two-thirds of the new building will house the bomber originally built by Boeing in Wichita and delivered to the Army Air Corps in March 1945.
He said $5 million has already been raised through a private fundraiser that was held before the July 17 announcement of the building.
“We know that we’ll break ground in mid-September,” he said. “We’re comfortable with the money we have in the bank, and we’re comfortable starting the project.”
According to Kickstarter rules, however, if the group fails to reach its $100,000 goal, it won’t get any of the money that was pledged.
Wells noted that the last Kickstarter campaign for Doc — held nearly two years ago to raise money for the airplane’s airworthiness certification process and to make its first flight — was slow, too. With less than 10 days to the close of that Kickstarter the group had raised $65,215, far short of its $137,500 fundraising goal. Yet nine days later that campaign yielded $140,516 in donations on Kickstarter, exceeding its goal by $3,016.