LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Efforts to raise an estimated $68 million for the proposed National Hurricane Museum and Science Center continue.

Gray Stream, chairman of the museum's board of directors, tells the American Press ( talks with large corporations have paid off, as the fundraising project has netted $14 million in commitments.

"It has been a deliberate process. I do wish the dollars would be unleashed quicker," he said. "We've also gotten a lot of 'atta boys' and pats on the back. But no rejections."

Stream views the task as a challenge and knows that the Gulf region is the target audience for financial donations.

Steam has visited Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Houston to speak to organizations and company executives about the museum. Plans are for the museum to be constructed near the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The group is also targeting federal agencies for financial support.

Organizers are working to make the museum a center for educational programs and a linchpin for economic growth for the lakefront and downtown districts.

Stream has also visited corporate boardrooms to spread the word about the museum.

While working on the fundraising process, Stream said the organization has begun tweaking its overall plan in order to adjust to market trends and to find ways to better publicize the museum.

"Right now we're working with a couple of different groups while we push ahead with getting major champion support," he said. "And we continue to check our educational initiatives and communications strategies."

The museum entered into an agreement with the city to possibly build the facility on the north side of the Civic Center grounds.


Information from: American Press,