The Owls Head Transportation Museum will donate all proceeds from admissions on Thursday, Aug. 1 to help support the construction of a children’s museum in Newtown, Conn, the city that was the site of a mass shooting in December.

The Owls Head Transportation Museum joins six other Maine museums in donating all or a portion of the day’s admission proceeds to support that cause. Some of the participating museums will also accept donations that day from visitors who wish to make a contribution toward the Newtown museum.

The participating Maine museums are the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, the Maine Historical Society in Portland, the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, the Maine State Museum in Augusta, the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport and the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head.

The effort to build a children’s museum in Newtown predated the December tragedy, but after that day the effort gained even greater momentum because many in the community realized there was a much greater need than before.

“The need for the children’s museum, which everyone thought was a great idea before, became almost a necessity,” said Kristin Chiriatti, the Newtown museum's president, in an interview for an article in The Huffington Post on Jan. 29. “People understood that the children will need a place to heal. We have so many children who are scared to go to school now and may have lifelong poor associations with learning.”

After the December shooting, communities and organizations across the country looked for ways to help the children and families of Newtown. Three museums in Grand Rapids, Michigan, chose to contribute a portion of one day’s admission fees toward helping fund the Newtown children’s museum, which has been named the “EverWonder Museum.” The Association of Children’s Museums picked up the movement and launched a national effort.

When Amy Lent, executive director of Maine Maritime Museum, read about the effort she invited other museums in Maine to join as well, and many responded enthusiastically.

“In light of this tragedy, I feel it is imperative that we band together to help buoy something so positive, a celebration of children and the very things that are so important to them — love, security and consistency,” Owls Head Transportation Museum Executive Director Russ Rocknak explained. “After all, without our younger generation's strength to move forward into the world of wonderment and discovery, we as a society would be left without a future.”

Visitors under 18 are always admitted free of charge.

For more information, call 594-4418.