Donor Spotlights

How Others Have Supported the Museum

Honoring Military History and Social Change

The National World War I Museum holds a different meaning for each individual passing through our doors. According to Ronald Magee of Parkville, Mo., “History is exceedingly important and not just the war, but everything about this period.” He recognizes the Centennial Commemoration of World War I is quickly approaching and will shed a new light on the Great War. He says he feels a deep sense of connection to the Museum through his respect for history and his own military service. 

Having served for decades in both the U.S. Coast Guard and Army, Mr. Magee recognizes that the Museum tells a story of not just military history but overwhelming social change. Mr. Magee compared the sweeping social changes seen during “the World War I era to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.” We are grateful for Mr. Magee’s service in both branches of the military as well as his service as a volunteer at the Museum today.

To Mr. Magee, one of the most fascinating features of the Great War was the concept and psychology of trench warfare. He reflects on how soldiers were forced to live in extraordinary circumstances but still fought for what they believed. By becoming a donor to the National World War I Museum’s Annual Fund you can help ensure the legacies of these soldiers and all those touched by World War I are preserved for future generations. Please join Mr. Magee by choosing to support the Museum today!


Answering the Call

There is strong sense of connection to the collection at the National World War I Museum for Mr. Brett Borg, of Lee’s Summit, Mo. Borg’s grandfather, Albert V. Borg, served in the United States Army towards the conclusion of the Great War. Mr. Borg says his grandfather “joined the Army late in the war.” He began his training and was prepared to serve his country; however, he remained in the United States for the duration of his service.  

Albert V. Borg was raised on a farm in southwest Missouri. With a strong background in farm labor, he served the Army by working with horses at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Albert, like so many during the World War I era, answered the call to serve his country in whatever capacity he could. He understood and felt compelled to aid his country by utilizing his talents and strengths.

Generations later, for the Borg family, the call is still being answered. Brett Borg shared that “the Museum is a wonderful and vital resource in telling the story of the Great War.” Brett is a consistent donor to the Annual Fund for the National World War I Museum and his generosity is truly inspiring. It is through his support and support from other donors that we are able to honor the memory of his grandfather and all who have served. Please consider making a donation to the National World War I Museum’s Annual Fund today!   


Leaving a Family Legacy  

A view unlike any other in the city is what Mr. John Dillingham and his family can expect when sitting on the bench they have sponsored at the National World War I Museum. Mr. Dillingham describes the family’s decision to sponsor the bench on the park grounds as a “family legacy.” One of his proudest moments will be when his grandchildren can stop by their family’s bench during field trips to the Museum, hoping that this special connection will instill a deep bond with the Museum.  

Mr. Dillingham has a long and meaningful history with the National World War I Museum, serving as a past Chair of the Board of Trustees and leading the initiative to restore the Memorial. He intends to pass this legacy of volunteering along to his children and grandchildren, and hopes his sponsorship will motivate others to follow suit and become champions for the National World War I Museum. The Dillinghams’ commitment to the National World War I Museum has truly turned into a family affair. 

The Museum is deeply appreciative of the Dillinghams’ contribution and invites you and your family to start your own legacy through a bench sponsorship. For more information, please contact or call 816-888-8100.


Annual Fund Donation Makes For Perfect Surprise Gift

Fred Shirbroun of Denison, Iowa, received an incredible surprise on Christmas Day 2012. His wife, Mary Jo Pfiefer, made a contribution to the National World War I Museum’s Annual Fund in honor of Fred’s grandfather, John Whiting. Fred remembers playing with the mementos his grandfather brought home from his service in the Great War. As a child, Fred played with the gas masks and helmets that told the story of his grandfather’s hard-fought battles in the trenches. 

Now, as an adult, Fred and Mary Jo travel to Kansas City every year to visit the Museum. According to the couple, it has become a family tradition.  Fred said when he visits the Museum, he is deeply moved while he travels through the collection. Thanks to a military pay stub book, Fred can follow of his grandfather’s progress during World War I. Fred is able to match the events described throughout the Museum with the dates in the booklet and see when and where his grandfather was entrenched. Fred described himself as being overwhelmed upon receiving the donation acknowledgement from his wife on Christmas. 

It is through the extraordinary generosity of families like Fred and Mary Jo's that the Museum is able to convey the World War I experience to current and future generations. We encourage you to be part of this tradition.