S. Doug Ritchie pictured in the sternwheeler exhibit at the Discovery World on Market.

Doug Ritchie, a PACF fundholder and past volunteer, will attest that Discovery World on Market (DWM) brings out the inner-child in all of us.

Created with the vision and leadership of the Ross Foundation, DWM is a world-class children’s museum for our Mid-Ohio Valley community. Constructed in what used to be the Masonic Temple on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg, DWM is a four-floor environment for children and the community that promotes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education, exercises curiosity, encourages exploration, and develops imagination through hands-on learning experiences.

“My wife and I are eager to bring our grandchildren to enjoy it,” said Doug. “We know that this Museum is a wonderful learning experience for children and families across our region, while at the same time, serving as an incredible economic engine for downtown Parkersburg. We need more unique and future-oriented investments like this in our downtowns in West Virginia.”

Many different charitable funds of the PACF supported the creation of the DWM and its exhibits. The PACF, in partnership with a number of its donor advised fund fundholders, has awarded nearly $300,000 to support the DWM, including support for its HyGenieTM Ball Washing System for the Ball Factory, the Factory Dress Up and Job Spinner Exhibit, and the Sternwheeler Exhibit.

The DWM was recently presented a check for $140,250 from the SDR and Ritchie Family Charitable Fund of PACF to sponsor the sternwheeler exhibit in the Museum’s River Adventure Exhibit. The River Adventure Exhibit encourages children to explore nature and the Ohio River’s ecosystem, learning about the many animals and plants comprising it. At the same time, children can learn about the river’s importance in supporting recreation, transportation and employment in our region.

“We live on the Ohio River in Ravenswood,” said Doug. “Our families always enjoy watching the busy river traffic when they’re visiting. We see everything from small tug boats pushing lengthy barges full of sand and gravel or coal, to local sternwheelers traveling to festivals, and periodically, to really huge paddleboats like the American Queen moving along the river.”

“Partnering and generosity are two of the PACF’s key values and we are thrilled to be able to connect our fundholders with the opportunity to support this one-of-a-kind educational organization,” said Julie Posey, PACF’s Development and Communications Officer. “Our donors and our Board members are very pleased to be able to participate in this important project along with so many other people and organizations in our community interested in the betterment of our region. We applaud the Ross Foundation for their leadership.”

DWM opened its doors to the public on April 2nd. To learn more about DWM call 681-588-5800 or visit www.dwonmarket.org.

Six funds of the PACF came together to support exhibit development and construction at the DWM in 2021. Together, the funds awarded $140,000 in funding!

To date, these charitable funds of the PACF have awarded nearly $300,000 to support the Discovery World on Market!

  • Altrusa of Parkersburg Charitable Fund
  • Walter E. and Marie Ausenheimer Memorial Fund
  • Deem - Dyer Fund
  • Friends of the Parkersburg Day Nursery Fund
  • Leslie E. and Jane B. Pritchard Advised Fund
  • SDR and Ritchie Family Charitable Fund
  • Michael E. Shirey Memorial Fund
  • The Spirit of Giving Fund
  • Terrapin Park Advised Fund
  • Dave and Donna Warfield Fund for the Arts
  • Mary M. Welch Advised Fund

Main image caption: DWM staff gather in front of the Ball Factory. The Ball Factory features a central climbing structure that provides children with a graduated series of safe, yet challenging, physical obstacles for visitors of varying abilities. Ball activities draw inspiration from factory processes and Parkersburg’s industrial history. A grant made possible by three donor advised funds of the PACF supported the purchase of a HyGenieTM ball washing system to clean and santitize the balls used in the Ball Factory and other exhibits. Photo courtesy of the DWM.