The Steering Column
by: Linda Merkel, Executive Director
America On Wheels has turned FIVE! We are so excited to have achieved this mile marker on this fantastic journey. We are grateful for the support and dedication of all those who have helped fuel our way – volunteers, members, collectors, sponsors and contributors. Without your continued assistance and encouragement, the potholes will be deeper, the road curvier and the hills steeper as we drive onward to become a world-class museum and popular tourist destination. As we turn the corner and head for the next major mile marker, we look forward to providing our visitors with an outstanding museum experience, encompassing the 3 E's:
Education ~ Entertainment ~ Events
America On Wheels is very proud of our ability to educate our guests about transportation and the automotive industry. It starts as soon as they enter the door. They learn about the interstate highway system which had its start with the building of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It continues with the descriptions of the displayed vehicles. Video and audio presentations show us how UPS moves packages and what truckers say while driving the lonely highways. Various presentations have informed us on the automotive music and fashions of earlier days, what you'll find along the famous Route 66 and how to make musical instruments from car parts. The opening of the Restoration Learning Center is the culmination of our desire to educate our visitors. This area will show the many processes involved to return a vehicle to its original state of grandeur. Educational opportunities coming soon include Safety Square and a new exhibit showcasing the history of bridges. Safety Square will be an indoor and outdoor interactive exhibit educating our visitors and school children on safe practices for drivers, bus passengers, pedestrians and cyclists on our urban and suburban streets. Programs will include the dangers of texting or drinking while driving among many others. In conjunction with PennDOT, the museum will present the history of bridges and the science and physics involved in their construction and maintenance.
Displayed throughout our three galleries and the lobby, America On Wheels offers visitors a wide array of classic, antique and rare vehicles and artifacts, many of which cannot be seen anywhere else. Currently being showcased in our Changing Gallery are beautiful examples of Wonderful Woodies of Years Gone By. See the Exhibit feature in this newsletter for a wealth of information on these unique beauties. On display in the South Gallery are extraordinary examples of pedal cars. This outstanding display was designed for all ages to enjoy. The Art Gallery on the second floor houses collections of automotive art from designers, photographers and artists. Drawings and paintings by Carl Renner currently grace our walls. Mr. Renner was a designer for GM and one can see the creativity and imagination that went in to developing many of the styles seen in the cars of his era.
Events at AOW are always enjoyable. You can join us at one of ours or host your own in the 1950s style HubCap Café and throughout the museum. Our annual Moonlight Memories Gala is held in November. It always has a theme that is carried throughout the food, decor, beverages and evening wear. In September, we will host a CARnival to raise funds in support of pediatric cancer. Starting with a car cruise from Lehigh Valley - Muhlenberg Hospital, the day will be filled with music, food, shopping and activities for our youth. Running from Black Friday to Christmas, the annual Train Display returns with an outstanding array of model trains that will enthrall the kids and the child in all of us. AOW is the perfect backdrop for your own special event. Have an adult or child's birthday, anniversary, christening or wedding at the museum and your guests will praise you for your brilliant choice of venues.
America On Wheels is committed to providing our visitors with an outstanding museum experience. We have been fortunate to receive a matching contribution of $500,000. The museum staff and Capacity Campaign Committee are working diligently behind the scenes to match this contribution by December 2013. We invite all of our readers and visitors to help steer us to achieve this goal. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the office or click here.
We look forward to our ongoing journey and hope you join us periodically along the road to see what new features we have in store for you during your visit. If there is anything we can do to make your ride with us more enjoyable, please do not hesitate to let us know. America On Wheels truly is "A Trip Worth Taking."
Next Page >