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Nonprofit Closing In On Fundraising Goal To Upgrade LBL Planetarium

  A nonprofit that supports the management of the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is closing in on a fundraising goal to upgrade the visitor center’s planetarium. 


Aviva Yasgur, executive director of the Land Between the Lakes Association, said the association has been working over three years to raise $220,000 dollars to upgrade the over decade-old planetarium projector system at the Golden Pond Visitor Center. The upgrade would more than double the resolution quality of planetarium shows -- from 1,000 pixels to 2,200 pixels -- and be able to present a greater variety of shows.


“We’d be able to basically have our planetarium be online,” Yasgur said. “In addition to showing a show where you ‘push play’ and show a show, we’ll be able to actually download and live stream, and kind of hopefully make some of these shows a little more dynamic.”


The new projector system would also use a laser, instead of a traditional lightbulb that fades the visual quality of presentations over time. 


She said the association received a significant donation last fall from Pepsi MidAmerica toward the upgrade, and now an anonymous donor is matching all planetarium donations up to $20,000 through May 1. Because of those two efforts, the association only needs $10,000 in matched donations to meet their fundraising goal.


“Any type of technology, there’s a lifespan on it. There hasn’t been any surprise that this would be needed to be replaced at some point,” Yasgur said.


She said donations from local businesses and residents, many around $100, have also supported the effort. She hopes to have a new planetarium system installed by this fall. Those interested in donating can do so at the Lake Between the Lakes Association’s website


"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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