The Santa Monica Historical Society Museum has announced that it recently received a donation of $100,000 from the museum’s president and chief executive officer, Louise Gabriel, and her husband, Bob Gabriel, who serves on the museum’s board of directors and is chairman of its Permanent Home Committee.
A $5 million capital campaign, launched late last year for the build-out of a new state-of-the-art museum, has reached more than one-third of the target goal. The Gabriels’ donation of $100,000 matches other $100,000 donations made last month by longtime Santa Monica residents and city historians Ron and Ann Funk, and late last year by Dr. John E. Gilmore. All three donations are the largest received so far from private benefactors.
Money being raised by the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum will allow the museum to be relocated to a new 5,000-square-foot facility situated on the Santa Monica Main Public Library campus (on 7th Street in Santa Monica) late this year
“Bob and Louise have each given over 50 years of ongoing service to the community,” said Nat Trives, a museum board member. “Both were very active in Santa Monica’s centennial celebration in 1975, are founding members of the museum, and have devoted much of their lives to helping preserve Santa Monica’s heritage. Without their assistance, [the museum] would not be on its way to having a permanent home.”
Museum spokesman Bill Krenn added, “In the last 50 years, Louise Gabriel has contributed over 70,000 hours in community service, over half of which has gone to the establishment and development of the museum, according to Trives.
“Tireless in her efforts to find a permanent home for the museum, she has held numerous positions with the organization, including official historian, photographer, photo archivist, and his- torical writer. She also was the first membership chairman.”
Prior to becoming president of the museum, Louise Gabriel served as president of other organizations, including the Santa Monica Salvation Army Auxiliary, Santa Monica Hospital Auxiliary, Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, Santa Monica College Patrons, Santa Monica Boys Club Auxiliary, and the Marina Satellites of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs.
She has been honored by many service organizations, the City of Santa Monica and Los Angeles County for her dedication and hard work on behalf of the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum. She has received over 30 recognition and service awards, including YWCA’s Woman of the Year Award, Citizen of the Year award from the Santa Monica Board of Realtors, Recognition for Service award from the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Bob Gabriel, who founded Bob Gabriel Co. in 1954, has received awards and honors for his community involvement, including the Santa Monica Realtor Citizen of the Year Award, National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award, Kiwanis Club’s Community Service Award and the Boys Club of America’s Medallion for Unusually Devoted Service to Youth.
He currently serves on the Santa Monica Hospital Board of Advisors and is an advisory board member of Santa Monica College. He is past chair on the board of directors for the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, served on the Wise Senior Services board, past chair of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, and past city councilman.
“I’ve always said that Santa Monica is the biggest ‘little city’ in the world with so much history,” he said. “How proud I am to support the museum’s preservation work, which has been ongoing since Santa Monica’s Centennial celebration in 1975. Our new state-of-the-art museum will showcase for the public the many wonderful treasures gathered together over the years.”
And Louise Gabriel added, “We feel privileged to be living in beautiful Santa Monica, a place we fell in love with when we first came here from out-of-state and knew this was where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives. When we discovered Santa Monica’s history during the centennial, we decided to take an active part on seeing that its history would be preserved and kept alive for all generations to know and value.”
The missiopn of the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum is to collect, preserve and make accessible the rich history, art and culture of the Santa Monica Bay Area.
Through the advancement of historical information, educational programming and the preservation of its archival collections and historical objects, the museum aims to give residents a sense of roots, belonging and an appreciation for the unique qualities of their city, and to instill a sense of pride in the diverse, multi-cultural past of Santa Monica.
The museum’s goal is to provide public access to its extensive collections through interpretive exhibitions, on- and off-site programs, and through archival research services for youths and adults
Information, (310) 395-2290 or www.santamonicahistory.org/