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Friends raise funds for store

The Association of the Friends of the Wichitas (FOW) has successfully raised the matching funds for a $38,000 challenge grant from the McMahon Foundation to support the Nature Store Project, the association announced.

The store will be in the Visitor Center located at the junction of Oklahoma 115 and Oklahoma 49 in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. 

According to FOW's March newsletter, a $9,952 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation put the organization over the top. Thanks to local businesses, members and the foundation, FOW raised over $42,000 to more than meet the goal.

"We want to thank the McMahon Foundation for providing us with this challenge grant. Without their support, we would have had a much more difficult road in raising the necessary funds. We look forward to opening the nature store this fall under the auspices of the Friends of the Wichitas," FOW President Jim Stone said in a news release.

"We thank the Lawton business community and FOW members for their generosity in helping us raise the matching funds. With their support, we have achieved a major goal that will provide a long-lasting benefit to the refuge and its visitors," said Dr. Jean Hausheer, FOW board member and fundraising chairman.

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