The United States Marshals Museum said Thursday that it received an anonymous $5 million matching gift, bringing it another step closer to reaching its capital campaign goal of $12.5 million.
The museum, which is nearing completion on the banks of the Arkansas River in Fort Smith, plans to allocate $8 million of the total raised to build its galleries.
"This pledge is the impetus we need to reach our capital campaign goal," Doug Babb, the museum's board chair, said in a news release. "With this generous gift, we will soon move forward with plans to create an educational and immersive experience for our guests."
Once complete, the museum will have five galleries detailing the evolving role of the U.S. Marshals Service. The galleries include the Samuel M. Sicard Hall of Honor, which pays tribute to the more than 350 marshals killed in the line of duty, and the National Learning Center, which is devoted to the U.S. Constitution, "the rule of law" and "civic literacy."
"The finish line is in sight," said Laurice Hachem, board chair of the United States Marshals Museum Foundation. "These funds will allow us to fully share the deep and rich story of the U.S. Marshals Service."
Hachem, president of Hachem Investments, has donated $1 million to the project.
Museum leaders have been working to raise money to finish the final elements of the project, first proposed in 2008. In 2019, Fort Smith voters defeated a temporary one-cent sales tax increase that would have raised about $16 million to fund the museum's completion.