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Museum of Science & History Receives $1.1 Million Donation from the Lastinger Family

Donation comprises $1 million from the Lastinger Family Foundation and $100,000 from Lindsey and Ryan Riggs

Nov. 22, 2023 — JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) today announced it has received donations totaling $1.1 million from the Lastinger family, inclusive of $1 million from the Lastinger Family Foundation and $100,000 from Lindsey and Ryan Riggs. The gifts will be honored through the naming of the river path and bridge.

The Lastinger Family Foundation’s mission focuses on two goals: historical and environmental preservation, and the education, health and well-being of children. Since its inception in 1998, the Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $13.5 million. The Foundation’s philanthropic initiatives are reviewed and approved by founders Allen and Delores Lastinger, as well as their adult children and spouses who serve on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

“In the 25 years that we lived in Jacksonville, MOSH contributed significantly to our children’s educational experience. We are delighted to play a small part in helping this incredible community asset realize its new vision,” said Allen Lastinger.

Lindsey Lastinger Riggs, executive director of the Lastinger Family Foundation, currently serves as the governance chair on the MOSH Board of Trustees. She credits her parents for setting an example of service to the community that extends far beyond the Foundation’s 25 years of operations.

“The MOSH Genesis campaign precisely aligns with our family’s commitment to preserving Florida’s unique history, culture and environment — as well as advancing educational opportunities and quality of life for children. We are honored to add the Lastinger and Riggs names to a growing list of Northeast Florida families who stand in support of MOSH and its future,” said Lindsey Riggs.

The MOSH Genesis capital campaign supports plans for MOSH to relocate to a new building on the Northbank of the St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville. In May 2023, legislation for a disposition and development agreement for 2.5 acres of City-owned land at the Shipyards property commonly known as Lot X was signed into law. The legislation grants MOSH a 40-year ground lease of the land for $1 per year; design of the park and the Riverwalk; and other agreements related to the creation of a new museum and surrounding park spaces.

MOSH has operated in its current location on the Southbank of Downtown Jacksonville since 1969. The Museum’s operations have outgrown the 77,000-square-foot facility; building a new Museum will significantly expand the organization’s capacity to serve more students and visitors. Plans for the new Museum comprise approximately 100,000 square feet across three floors, with the option to build a future expansion of an additional 30,000 square feet.

“When multiple generations of a family take personal ownership of ideals through their generosity, it speaks volumes about the family’s values and has long-term impact on the community. The Lastingers share a remarkable dedication to history and educational opportunities for youth — two pillars that also guide our work at the Museum of Science & History,” said Maureen Mercho, Chief Development Officer of MOSH.

“MOSH has benefited greatly from Lindsey’s selfless service on our Board of Trustees since 2020. With these combined gifts, the Lastinger and Riggs families are also investing in a bright future for our entire region,” said Bruce Fafard, CEO of MOSH.