Junior Museum of Bay County

For years, P.C. Juniors have donated money to the Junior Museum of Bay County. In 2001, club members helped create an exciting exhibit. The Panama City News Herald published the following story on March 10, 2001.

The News Herald
March 2001

What started out as an idea between two friends became a reality Friday as the Junior Museum opened its simulated fishing exhibit.
The project was sponsored by the Panama City Junior Woman's Club.
"We brought our thoughts on a new exhibit to a meeting of our department within the club, and the other members were immediately excited about it," said Judy Dickey who brainstormed with friend Caroline Smith. "Within an hour, we had a theme and a plan."
And they had a boat. A 21-foot Cobia was obtained by club chairwoman Terry Hasty, whose husband owns Boating Adventures Inc. The boat was cut in half to fit through the doors and the bow was removed to fit in the display.

A mural of St. Andrew Bay was painted by local artist and club member Jane Perry. The project was constructed in the museum in about three weeks, thanks to the efforts of 40 women and a handful of husbands.

(Photo: Jonathan Susman, left, 8, fishes with brother Joshua Susman, 5, and Rachel Perry, 6, all of Panama City, before Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Junior Museum. News Herald Photos: Terry Barner.)

(Photo: Participating in the ribbon-cutting of the St. Andrew Bay fishing exhibit at the Junior Museum on Friday are, from left: Caroline Smith, Junior Woman's Club; Bobby Barton, Junior Museum executive director; and Junior Woman's Club members Terry Hasty, Debbie Pouder, Jane Perry, Robyn Perry and Judy Dickey.)

"They only took husbands that would follow directions," quipped the museum's executive director, Bill Barton. The 32-year-old museum relies on donations and Barton said the project would have cost around $50,000, but thanks to local sponsors and the Junior Woman's Club, it was largely built for free. "We've had some cooperative efforts before, but nothing like this," Barton said, adding that it's been about three years since the museum had a new exhibit. "The kids keep coming, but sometimes they get a little bored with the older exhibits."

Dickey and Smith often take their children to the museum and were happy to help bring their idea to fruition - though they came across some unexpected challenges along the way.
"It was trial and error," said Smith, who added that the mounted fishing poles have posed some of the biggest challenges.

At first the poles were too long, then the line was too light and then the reels had to be altered so that the kids could get some hands-on experience of working with a reel and line, without tangling up yards of line in the process.

Using a magnet on the end of the line, the kids (and a few adults) try to catch laminated, cardboard fish which have pieces of metal fitted in their eyes.
Five-year-old Joshua Susman caught the only black-tip shark, and using the boat's measuring tape, he happily announced the fish's length at 29 inches.
Standing nearby was one of the adults, Walter Woodrick.
"I think you can easily tell that the kids really like this," he said.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.



©2006 Panama City Junior Woman's Club - Created by Derek Boggs