During the weeks leading up to the solar eclipse, the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) purchased 100,000 pairs of Eclipse Glasses to be sold for people looking to view the eclipse in St. Joseph.
The glasses were originally funded by Kendall Randolph CEO of the Sunshine Electronic Display Corporation.
“We decided that it made sense to look at it as a way to invest some money into the community,” Randolph said.
The glasses were sold for $2 per pair or six pairs for $10. The glasses sold quickly and brought in approximately $200,000 in revenue.
But after the sales were finished, Randolph decided to donate the profit back to the community. After giving money to the CVB for the time and efforts selling the glasses, the remaining funds were divided evenly between three local charities.
Robidoux Row, Mount Mora Cemetery and Patee House each received a $26,000 check from Randolph to help with maintenance and future renovations.
“It (the funds) was raised by everyone in the community buying the glasses, so it worked out really well. We are just happy to help out and try to give a little bit back to the community,” Randolph said.
Randolph serves on the board of the Mount Mora Cemetery and previously served on the board for the Robidoux Row. He also has spent time volunteering for the Patee House.
“They just seem like three organizations that need support. They always have projects and things going on and need maintenance and things,” Randolph said. “These are just the three organizations that I've worked with over the years to help in various ways.”
Patrick Squires, Vice President of the Robidoux Row Board was grateful for Randolph’s donation.
“It really is a major boom to the St. Joseph Historical Society. We are in the process of reevaluating exhibits and our mission. This will allow us to make decisions we might not have been able to do without this infusion of cash,” Squires said.
Squires said the donation will be first be used to fund additional signages to improve for the museum, and then will be put towards new exhibits.
“One of the biggest things we want to do is create a space within the museum for rotating exhibits. Right now our exhibits have been static for a long time, and with this we will have a chance to maybe have an exhibit that changes every two to three months,” Squires said.