The Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum has launched a restoration campaign with the goal of raising $1 million for renovations and community initiatives in preparation for its fall 2021 grand opening.
Last month the museum announced the initial $1 million will be needed by Feb. 2021 — a fraction of the overall goal of $5.8 million for the historic childhood home dedicated to the preservation of Ali’s legacy as a cultural leader, civil rights advocate, humanitarian and world-class boxer.
Ali, born Cassius Clay Jr., was 5 years old when his parents purchased the home that is now a museum at 3302 Grand Ave, Louisville, Ky.
For 15 years, Ali and his family resided in the modest home in the city’s west end where he first dreamed of being a boxer, according to museum officials.
“When we came upon the opportunity to acquire the childhood home of Cassius Clay Jr., George Bochetto and I were ecstatic to begin a non-profit museum for all Ali fans,” said Jared Weiss, founder and CEO, Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum.
“Muhammad Ali shook up the world and we are better because of it. Restoring his home is an honor to him and a reminder to us to fight for the world we want, no matter who we are or where we are fighting from.”
Weiss adds that funds used from the restoration campaign will be used to restore the Clay family home, and to build a welcome center for the museum.
Donations will also be used to expand the museum footprint, improve the grounds, create community programs and establish a financial endowment.
With a commitment to the community, sponsorships and scholarships dedicated specifically to the youth of the Louisville community will also be a priority of the organization and restoration campaign, according to Weiss.
The campaign is seeking donations ranging from one-time micro giving, to reoccurring monthly gifts starting as low as $5, to higher funding levels, like the $500 welterweight level and $2.5 million G.O.A.T (for greatest of all time) level.
The museum organizers said donors are encouraged to give now and be part of the legacy by receiving commemorative plaques, owning a small piece of the home itself, video tributes, funding scholarships or providing naming rights to the welcome center, depending on the donation amount.
They added that the goal of The Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is to help guests relive Ali’s triumphs and struggles.
“To know that others can step into the room we grew up in, or the backyard he played in, and the back room he and I shadow boxed in is incredible. It’s like stepping back in time,” said Rahman Ali, Ali’s brother.
“This museum, my childhood home, is meant to inspire all of us to reach what my brother Muhammad fought so hard for – opportunity for all. I’m confident we can hit the first million in record time and kick off this very important project!”