Ellerbe Telephone Company, one of the last family-owned telephone companies in North Carolina, has contributed $25,000 to Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham, as the new children’s museum moves into its final months of construction. Designated for general project support, the gift will fund exhibition upgrades, fabrication and facility maintenance as well as provide for the endowment.
The new museum is being constructed in what was the McKenzie Furniture building in downtown Rockingham, and if you head down East Washington Street towards Harrington Square, the upfits and bright sign are sure to catch your eye.
“It is our pleasure to be able to assist Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham in its efforts to bring a new kind of learning experience to the families of Richmond and surrounding counties,” said Dan Bennett, owner and president of Ellerbe Telephone Company. “Ellerbe Telephone Company is an heirloom in our family and I sincerely hope that the museum becomes an heirloom for Richmond County.”
Founded in 1918 by Paul Bennett, Ellerbe Telephone Company has been owned and operated by the Bennett family for almost a century. Currently run by Bennett’s grandson Dan Bennett, the business provides telecommunications services to the northern end of Richmond County, including the towns of Ellerbe and Norman. It also supplies wireless broadband Internet services to Richmond, Scotland and Montgomery counties. With its longstanding family and community roots, Ellerbe Telephone Company’s investment in the areas where it provides services reflects its dependable customer service and goal of being a responsible and concerned community partner, say Discovery Place officials.
“Ellerbe Telephone Company emulates what a generous corporate citizen should be, and we are honored to have them as part of this joint effort,” said Neal Cadieu, Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham campaign committee co-chair. “Dan Bennett and Herb Long have always supported growth in our county. This region is about to see an inspiring addition to our community materialize, and it is only through our dedicated partners that we can offer such an exciting opportunity to our children.”
Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham will offer creative learning-through-play experiences for children and their caregivers that build essential childhood skills by encouraging curiosity, discovery and fun. The project was launched by the commitment of $6.6 million in funds from the Cole Foundation and the Richmond Community Foundation. Their visionary leadership gifts, which were facilitated by The Foundation For The Carolinas, are intended for the long-term sustainability of the museum.