Heat may destroy Cape military museum artifacts due to budget crunch

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Credit: WINK News.

The Southwest Florida Military Museum needs your help in preserving history. It is in desperate need of a brand new air conditioning system to make sure old documents stay intact in the Florida heat. Some of those documents go back to the Revolutionary War.

At the Southwest Florida Military Museum in Cape Coral, who would have thought the job of preserving the past would be left to the air conditioning.

“Well, it was a little warm with the AC being out,” said Jordan Myers, a visitor.

Ralph Santillo, the founder and CEO of SWFL Military Museum, said the temperature is around 89° inside the building.

The air conditioning in the building has been down for about a week. The museum is waiting for a new part.

“It’s almost an ongoing monthly expense,” Santillo said. “And what we’re doing is putting a band-aid on a major wound and we can’t keep operating like that.”

Santillo told WINK News the museum is in desperate need of new lighting and air conditioning to not only keep patrons cool but to keep its priceless artifacts in good shape – some of which date back to the Revolutionary War.

The project has a price tag of $85,000.

While we were at the museum, Stuart Berman, brought by a check.

“It’s important that we save the memorabilia,” Berman said. “Irregardless of whether you can afford a $1 or $1,000.

The message from the military veterans, Berman and Santillo, is simple. No matter how much you have to give, these artifacts are in danger.

“We need help,” Santillo said. “I don’t usually get on my knees and beg, but I got to tell you I will get on my knees and beg. We need your help. Period.”

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