The Lincoln County Museum in Pioche received a gift donation of $10,000 from a Las Vegas man just before Christmas.
Museum curator Leslie Childers said, “One day this man came in, looked around the museum for a bit, then said he wanted to leave a donation, but said he would have to write a check. When he handed it to me, I looked at it and first I thought it was for $100. But it had more zero’s, and was really was for $10,000. I asked him, ‘Are you serious? Is this for real? And he just smiled and said ‘Merry Christmas.’”
The man is Gene Burns of Las Vegas, perhaps in his late 60s, early 70s. But Childers does not know anything about him as to whether or not he is a philanthropist, but said she has verified that his check is valid.
“He actually didn’t even go all through the museum, didn’t walk around much,” she said, “just looked mostly, but didn’t appear to be in a hurry. Then he said he wanted to leave a donation with the museum and gave me the check.”
Childers said she will think of Burns as being a Christmas Angel. “We did send him a card, but I don’t think he wanted any recognition. I think he just wanted to do it.”
She said she plans to use the funds given to “replace the roof on our small utility room at the rear of the museum where our furnace is. It’s been leaking for 10 years or more. There’s just a tarp over it now.”
The Lincoln County Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed on winter holidays.
Childers said about 3,500 visitors came to the museum last year, mostly between Memorial Day through Labor Day.