Rosie the Riveter Trust gets first executive director
By Chris Treadway
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 06/10/2011 03:26:51 PM PDT
Updated: 06/10/2011 03:26:54 PM PDT
A little more than a decade after its creation, the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond is looking at some of its most pivotal and exciting times in the coming year.
The restoration of a key landmark, the Maritime Childcare Center, is nearing completion and should be dedicated this summer.
Work is continuing on a first-ever park visitors center in one of the historic buildings at Ford Point, and the hope is that it will open early next year.
And the Rosie the Riveter Trust, the nonprofit support organization for the national park, has its first full-time executive director.
Marsha Mather-Thrift, who brings a background of managing and fundraising for nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area, will be officially introduced as executive director at the trust's benefit dinner gala on June 18.
This year's gala, which takes its "Rick's Cafe Americain" theme from the classic 1943 film "Casablanca," will have dinner and dancing starting at 6 p.m. in the Atchison Village Auditorium at Collins and Curry streets.
The gala is an important part of the trust's fundraising, and bringing in resources will be one of Mather-Thrift's primary duties.
"That's really what we're setting out to do -- create partnerships with businesses and individuals who see the value of this park and reach out across the country to others who should know about it," she said. "It's a very fascinating place. I was struck by the potential and by how much has already been done by a staunch core of volunteers."
The trust was created as the local partner organization to the National Park Service. Mather-Thrift will work with the trust board and the park service unit and its superintendent, Tom Leatherman, on developing programs and funding for education, park expansion, promotion, preservation and outreach.
The trust was founded in 1999 in anticipation of the park's creation, and Mather-Thrift is its first executive director. The San Francisco native comes to the position with experience directing and raising money for nonprofit environmental groups and has also worked with a National Park Service partnering organization at Fort Mason.
"She comes with a good background," said Jane Bartke, the new president of the trust's board of directors. "She knows how to work with national parks and cities, and that's a big plus."
Mather-Thrift's arrival coincides with the anticipated opening of the Maritime Childcare Center and, just as important, the visitors center, which will finally give the park a space of its own when it opens early next year. "Then people will be able to come and see how fantastic it is with the Bay Trail right there," Mather-Thrift said.
Tickets to the Rosie the Riveter Trust dinner are $150 each and should be reserved as soon as possible by calling 510-235-1315 or 510-507-2276. Sponsorships also remain available.
Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or email@example.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.