Solution is in Sight for Carousel Closure

While it isn’t possible to run down to the carousel store to buy a cylinder bearing for a 101 year old carousel, the machinists of Missoula have proven that if they know what we need, they can make it. Several professionals from across the United States, including many local shops, have offered their expertise to fix the broken cylinder bearing, which has caused the closure of A Carousel for Missoula.

First on the scene was Andy Troutwine of Andy’s Shop. Andy has the knowledge and equipment to remove the old, broken bearing and to make a new one. He is currently fabricating a new bearing, which will be installed as soon as it is ready. Even with dedicated and talented workers, problems this big take a while to fix, so we do not yet have a reopening date. Please watch our Facebook page (A Carousel for Missoula and Dragon Hollow) for updates.

In addition to the cost of the repair, the Carousel is losing much of its high season income. One half of the Carousel’s operating income comes in the summer months. The unfortunate timing of the closure will cause a significant decrease in the Carousel’s earned income for 2019. Approximately 75% of the Carousel’s expenses are covered by income from operations; the other 25% comes from fundraising efforts. While the City is very generous with capital expenses, the Carousel is not a City agency and does not receive operating funds from any city, state or local government. The Carousel is owned and operated by A  Carousel for Missoula Foundation, Inc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Once again, the Carousel staff and volunteers are grateful to a generous community. Dawn Maddux of Engel and Völkers has started a GoFundMe page for the repairs. Engel and Völkers will match donations up to $5000 before August 10. (https://www.gofundme.com/f/engel-amp-volkers-carousel-for-missoula-fundraiser). Others have dropped donations off at the Carousel, or mailed them to PO Box 3345, Missoula, MT  59806.

Perhaps our favorite donation to date, however, comes from the Discovery Preschool and Infant Center. On Thursday, a class of ten came into the Carousel. “We know we can’t ride the Carousel,” they said, “but we want to donate our ride money to help you fix it.” Then they proudly deposited $8.30 into our donation box. Thanks, Discovery kids, it is good to know there are more generous and supportive Missoulians in the making.