The Pella Historical Society and Museums held its annual meeting on Aug. 27 to present financial reports, discuss Forging Our Future Campaign projects, appoint a new board president and appoint new and incumbent board members.

According to the organization’s data, 2019 was a record year for attendance and revenue at Tulip Time. Between 180,000 to 200,000 visited Pella during the festival, accumulating a total revenue of $309,461. Comparatively, the festival only estimated a total of $139,000 in revenue last year. This was also the festival’s fourth consecutive year with a revenue over $100,000.

Forging Our Future Campaign Projects include rebuilding the historical village pond, restoration of the Scholte House and Wyatt Earp House and the recently completed Scholte Gardens restoration. To date, $120,812 have been spent on historical village projects, $254,765 on the Scholte House, $41,232 on the Wyatt Earp House and $380,156 on the Scholte Gardens.

The total amount pledged for the projects is approximately $2.5 million, with a total of $2,037,650 collected. The campaign still needs to collect $467,350 and has spent $819,250 to date. Additionally, $9,460 of interest has been earned due to early pledges.

The organization’s 2018/2019 Fiscal Year Budget was $669,444, which was only 3 percent over their original budget of $653,721.

“I think if I was doing the State of the Union Address, I’d say the state of the Pella Historical Society and Museums is in very good shape,” said Treasurer Mike Morgan.

The organization appointed Chad Vande Lune as their new board president, taking the place of Carol Williamson.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank all of the volunteers that work in the village, the Scholte House and all across our campuses,” said Williamson. “They do a wonderful job … I also want to thank Val [Van Kooten] and the rest of the staff who put an immense amount of energy and creativity and innovation and discipline into the work that they do here at Pella Historical.”

Derek De Haan was appointed first vice president, and Lois Smith and Mike Morgan remain secretary and treasurer. Incumbent board members who were re-elected are Merlyn Vander Leest, Ali Heit, Dick Redman and Jess Kanis.

New board members are Angie Van Roekel, Tom Johnson, Josh Smith and Jill Anderson. Cheryl Pleima and Mini Vanden Bosch’s terms ended this year. Appointed board members’ three-year terms will begin Sept. 1, 2019.

“As we see our city growing, we have a vital role to provide the opportunity to develop our youth, to educate them and provide additional ways to learn about what it means to have a Dutch heritage here in Pella,” said Vande Lune.

Emily Hawk can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at {span}641-628-3882.

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