The Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA) recently welcomed some very special visitors to the Heritage Discovery Center – adoptable pets from the Humane Society of Cambria County (HSCC).
The visit, which was captured on video by the local firm Innovative Tomato, helps promote the Humane Society’s adoptable pets and JAHA’s fundraising campaign to replace the elevator at the Heritage Discovery Center. The project was the idea of Deb Winterscheidt, development director for JAHA.
“Several museums across the country have brought animal visitors to their facilities during the coronavirus crisis, while the facilities were closed,” Winterscheidt said. “The videos of these visits are so engaging, and I thought we could do this in Johnstown, too.”
Innovative Tomato, which is the sister company of the marketing firm Prime Design Solutions, specializes in mobile app development as well as video and motion graphics. The companies have been longtime supporters of both JAHA and the Humane Society.
“For Innovative Tomato, this was a great opportunity to support these important non-profits while showcasing our firm’s abilities,” said Angela Law, chief cultivator for the firm.
The resulting video shows kittens and rabbits playing in various sections of the Heritage Discovery Center, including the first floor exhibition, “America: Through Immigrant Eyes,” and the Johnstown Children’s Museum, which is on the third floor of the facility.
“We wanted to introduce some of the adorable pets at the Humane Society,” said Jessica Vamos, executive director of the HSCC. “During the coronavirus crisis, many of us are at home most of the time. If you’ve been considering adopting a pet, right now is a really good time to do so.”
The video is also meant to promote JAHA’s fundraising campaign to refurbish the elevator in the Heritage Discovery Center. The $90,000 campaign, which was launched in January 2020, has to date raised about $18,000.
“Obviously, a functioning elevator is critical for our museum,” said Richard Burkert, JAHA president and CEO. “COVID put the brakes on our fundraising effort to replace it, and we’re hopeful this video will help us regain momentum.”
JAHA museums have re-opened on a limited schedule. The Johnstown Flood Museum is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 am-5:00 pm, and Sunday from noon-5:00 pm. The Heritage Discovery Center is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 am-5:00 pm, although the third-floor Johnstown Children’s Museum remains closed due to the coronavirus.