By KYW Newsradio community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Please Touch Museum, in Fairmount Park, is hoping to engage a new generation of philanthropists for its upcoming multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign.

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Symbolized by an oak tree, the new “Legacy of Play” campaign is designed to bridge the gap between the museum’s past and its future.

“We want families to continue to give to the Please Touch Museum so that future generation of children can continue to come and enjoy the wonderful work we have to offer,” says Laura Foster, CEO (at lectern in top photo).

She says the Please Touch Museum’s goal is to raise $30 million, and momentum is building.

“We have already raised $5.5 million.  We announced a $1-million challenge gift from Dorrance Hamilton. We are going to match that gift three to one,” Foster said.

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(Jasper Liem holds an oak sapling given to him as a supporter of the Please Touch Museum.  Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(Jasper Liem holds an oak sapling given to him as a supporter of the Please Touch Museum. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

“I learned a lot while playing here at the museum,” says Jasper Liem, 32 (right).  “I remember walking in and meeting Arty the Elephant for the first time, and he towered over me because I was five.  “I went to school the next day, bragging to everyone that I had touched an elephant.”

Liem is a part of a generation of patrons the museum is hoping will now give support.

“I have had the amazing privilege to grow up with the museum, and there are so many ways to give back to it,” Liem says.  “Having a safe place to play is just so important to a child’s development.”

Foster says the museum offers education opportunities for children and supports the local economy through jobs.  She says the money raised will help the museum expand its reach.

For more info on the museum or the “Legacy of Play” campaign, go to

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