Friends of the Chicago River's McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum celebrated its 10th season with a brand new Director, new staff, along with the opening of the expanded Chicago Riverwalk. It was a hugely successful season with a remarkable surge in attendance. We welcomed over 28,000+ visitors, 1,600 children, and were one of the highest attended sites for Open House Chicago.
In June, we hosted Friends' 3rd annual Summer Cruise, the museum's annual benefit cruise, with a full boat enjoying the river and gaining insight on the resurging wildlife using the river corridor. The cruise, co-chaired by Marjorie Brownstein and John O'Connell, expanded our donor support network and exceeded our revenue projections by 20%.
We also produced great, creative programming that introduced many people to the river and the museum, including the "Understanding the Chicago River" lunchtime speaker series (in partnership with the City of Chicago), the Asian carp grill, Spanish-Guided Tours of the entire exhibit, and Requiem in Water. All of our programs proved that the museum is vital and serves Friends in a unique way. The use of its space is limitless. As a lively cultural anchor of the Chicago Riverwalk, we are excited to produce more programs for the 2016 season.
Most important, more people discovered the beauty of the Chicago River through our museum this year with our highest attendance to date . We will continue to reveal the river's importance and magic to tens of thousands of visitors each season.
Thank you for all of your support. See you in May of 2016!