A group of about 90 members of the Folsom community, including city, state and historic district leaders, gathered for a special event last Thursday in support of Folsom History and its future for generations to come in the city. While it was long before the upcoming Big Day of Giving, the affair celebrated a very special gift.

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Enjoying complimentary appetizers, spirits and desserts, the group gathered  at Willamette Wineworks as longtime Folsom resident and philanthropist Claudia Cummings presented Folsom History, formerly known as the Folsom Historical Society, a generous donation to assist the non-profit organization with its future needs and growth in the community. 

The gift came just one week from the well-known Big Day of Giving that takes place in the Sacramento region May 4 that celebrates local charities with community giving. 

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“Folsom History is deeply appreciative of all of the philanthropic efforts of Claudia Cummings in our local community,” said Rita Mukherjee Hoffstadt, executive director of Folsom History. “She has been a longtime supporter of Folsom History and was a major contributor to our organization’s previous fundraising campaign which allowed Folsom History Museum to expand into its current building configuration.”

Cummings has been a resident as well as a community and civic leader in Folsom for decades and true friend to the community at large. She and her late husband William are known for their generosity in donating property for to the city of Folsom including area bike, Cummings Family Park and Skate Park and a portion of the land that Mercy Hospital of Folsom rests on today, they also assisted in the building of Mercy Hospital’s Emergency Pavilion.  

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When it comes to Cummings’ philanthropy across the community, there is a long list of recipients through the years. Preserving local history for future generations is very important to Cummings.  As Folsom History sets forth to build plans for future growth, Cumming’s donation is great gift. 

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“This most recent gift from Claudia will help Folsom History move into a new era. Folsom History’s new mission is to Inspire an innovative future together by connecting Folsom to its inventive roots. Her gift will allow us to better serve the growing community of Folsom. We are looking to make significant improvements to Pioneer Village, Folsom History Museum, and start the interior exhibit design work of Chinese Heritage Museum.”

Folsom History was orignally known as the Folsom Historical Society and was founded in 1961 by a group of volunteers who rebuilt the front façade of the Wells Fargo Assay office and in 1976 open the building up as the Folsom History Museum. At that time the museum opened Folsom had a population of around 10,00 people.

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By the 1990’s, Folsom’s population was 30,000.  The museum out grew their original footprint, and built what is now the main building of Folsom History Museum.

“Specifically, her gift will help support the construction of a 1000 square foot expansion on to Folsom History Museum,” Hoffstadt said to those in attendance before the group did a ceremonial toast the future of Folsom history.  “The Claudia Cummings Community Pavilion will serve as a museum classroom space for local school children and be used as much needed programming space for the general public on evening and weekends. It will also be available for community gatherings and event rentals.”

For more information on Folsom History, residents are encouraged to visit the history museum at 823 Sutter Street in Folsom or visit them online at www.folsomhistory.org.

The Folsom History Museum is one of 45 local charities that will be participating in next week’s Big Day of Giving. With many plans in the future they appreciate any donations from the community ahead. For more information on the upcoming event visit www.bigdayofgiving.org.

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.