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Mudstock returns in effort to save MSC

POULSBO — A breath of renewed enthusiasm is expected to blow into efforts to bring the Marine Science Center back to life as Mudstock 2005 kicks off Friday.

The two-day event is the first scheduled fund-raiser designed to spark increased community efforts to re-open the center, which closed its doors to the public in February due to a lack of support.

“Our main goal is get the word out that this needs to be a community effort, and hopefully, people will feel the same way we do,” said Bight of Poulsbo Secretary Margene Smaaladen.

The event features continuous live music and food replete with a beer garden and is expected to get things moving toward the re-opening of the center, Smaaladen said.

“Once we get the ball rolling, we can go out and get grants and we’ve got grant writers just waiting to get started,” she explained, noting that the effort has the full support of the entire Poulsbo City Council and mayor as well as the Suquamish Tribe.

“We need to have community support and we can’t do it without it,” she commented.

While there is an abundance of enthusiasm in the community about the upcoming event, this may not be the only one designed to raise awareness and money for the center.

“Bill Austin has this dream of having fund-raisers throughout the year,” Smaaladen explained. “We’re thinking about having four fund-raisers a year.”

One of the reasons the center closed is because its former board left the fund-raising efforts to its employees, she added.

“We’re also hoping to get some grants and some partnerships to help us,” Smaaladen said.

One of those potential partnerships could be with the Poulsbo Historical Society, which could share part of the building if efforts to re-open the center are successful.

“I think the importance of it to us is if this can all be pulled off for the Marine Science Center, we would be a part of it,” said PHS President Kathy Hogan. “We have some marine science things and marine science is part of our history.”

No matter what happens, the historical society is fully behind the efforts to re-open the center, she said.

“We just want to do what we can to help the community itself,” she said.

The grassroots group attempting to re-open the center hopes to included the historical society as well, said Bight of Poulsbo Founder Bill Austin.

“We really need to get everyone involved and let’s get this thing open again,” Austin said.

After Mudstock, the group tasked with formulating a plan to re-open the center will meet and decide what the next step in the process will be, he explained.

As for his expectations for this weekend’s event, Austin didn’t talk about masses of people or dollars raised instead he pointed to the weather.

“I expect the sun to shine and that’s all I can hope for, or at least that’s what the weather man’s saying,” he commented.

For a full listing of the Mudstock entertainment lineup and related story, see Page 11 of the What’s Up entertainment section.

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