Wolk Foundation Pledges $500,000 to Museum Campaign

The Strong News Release
NEWS RELEASE
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 • 585-263-2700 • museumofplay.org

December 18, 2019

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@museumofplay.org

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325, nmcelrath@museumofplay.org

Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation
to Name The Strong’s New Admission Area
and Pledge $500,000 Gift

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK—The Strong is pleased to announce that the Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation has pledged $500,000 to benefit Powered by Play: A Campaign for The Strong. The gift supports The Strong’s transformative development project, which includes a 90,000-square-foot museum expansion that will become the centerpiece of the all-new Neighborhood of Play. In acknowledgment of the gift, the museum will name the new admission area—planned to be included in a new state-of-the-art welcome atrium—the Wolk Admission Area.

“The Wolk Foundation performs incredible work in our community and supports many worthy causes. We’re honored that they have chosen to support the museum’s ongoing expansion project and that they recognize the potential in it to transform our city,” said Steve Dubnik, president and CEO of The Strong. “Generous gifts like this allow the museum to grow its capacity to preserve the history of play and share the educational power of play with more children, families, and students on a local and national level.”
 
The planned welcome atrium, which will house the Wolk Admission Area, will include a more efficient check-in process and a larger gift shop, and it will lead to a revamped food court service area with improved dining options. The space will also serve as the gateway to all the museum’s exhibits, including new exhibits featuring a high-adventure ropes course and two large-scale exhibits focused on how technology and video games have transformed the way that people play. The expansion is expected to draw an additional 400,000 guests to the Rochester region, pushing museum attendance to nearly one million guests annually.
 
On behalf of the trustees of the Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation, Marvin L. Wolk said, “We are all impressed with the positive impact The Strong has on our community, and recognize the significant economic and quality of life benefits the museum’s expansion and neighborhood transformation will have on our region. The foundation is pleased to help support their efforts, and to help welcome The Strong’s guests to the museum at the Wolk Admission Area.”
 
The museum’s expansion is slated to open in 2022 and is expected to provide an additional $130 million in annual economic impact to the Rochester region.
 
About The Strong
The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to the history and exploration of play. It is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play.
 
 About the Wolk Foundation
The Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation, established by Louis in 1984, focuses its generosity in the Rochester, New York area, with an emphasis on health care, education, culture, and children’s needs, and distributes more than $1.5 million annually in Monroe County. Louis, from Rochester, and Molly, originally from Syracuse, were active members of the community. Louis S. Wolk, born in 1908, was the son of Russian immigrants, and grew up in humble beginnings in Rochester, sharing a straw mattress with his four brothers. Through his hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit, Louis was successful in business, including automobile franchises, auto parts, and real estate, and with his brother Paul in 1957, constructed and developed Rochester’s first luxury high raise apartment building at 1600 East Avenue, which included state of the art amenities that were new to Rochester. The Foundation’s office is located in this building, in the same apartment Louis and Molly lived in. The foundation’s trustees, David M. Wolk, Marvin L. Wolk, Jeremy J. Wolk, Harold Samloff, Michael B. Berger, and Alvin L. Ureles are family and friends of Louis and Molly, who continue to adhere to Louis’s and Molly’s desire to make a difference in the Rochester area.