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Local businesses help community wear their support for the RMSC

    ROCHESTER, NY, May 21, 2020 – While visitors are unable to come to the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC), many are opting to wear their support for the RMSC on their sleeve.

    With the help of Crazy Dog T-Shirts and Initial Here Creative Services, two local small businesses, the RMSC created limited-edition t-shirt designs to help raise funds for the Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. 

    Though the initial goal was to raise $5,000, the sale, which ended on May 19, sold roughly 1,400 shirts and raised nearly $20,000, which will be donated directly to the RMSC to help support general operating costs.

    “The RMSC is an organization that depends heavily on the support of our community. Like many other nonprofits and small businesses, we have had to make difficult decisions over the past two months related to staffing, programming, and services,” said Ryan Elizabeth Shear, Capital Campaign Director at the RMSC and lead coordinator for the fundraiser. “It is heartwarming to see the amount of support we received during this time of uncertainty. It allows us to continue bringing STEM into your homes while our doors are closed, and ensures that when we reopen the guest experience will be more inspiring than ever.”

    The RMSC has a longstanding relationship with both Crazy Dog T-Shirts and Initial Here Creative Services. When Shear shared the idea for the fundraiser with both businesses, they were eager to lend their expertise to support the institution.

    T.C. Pellett, owner of Initial Here Creative Services, created the three t-shirt designs and social media promotional designs pro bono. The team at Crazy Dog T-Shirts provided their warehouse and digital services to sell, create, and distribute the final products.

    “This campaign started with a great idea in support of a fantastic cultural nonprofit. It grew from a kinetic collaboration, and it worked because we kept it fun and simple. That’s what it means to be nimble as only a small business can,” said Pellett. “It was a no brainer for me to get involved. This is a time when we need more joyful, supportive collaboration. I had no idea it would be this successful and I’m so happy I could help.”

    While the RMSC is closed, the institution is not able to receive the vital admission, ticket, and event revenue which it depends on. Being a nonprofit organization, fundraising and donations are imperative to the continuation of the RMSC’s engagement with the community, both while the institution is closed and once it is able to reopen. Peter Borrelli, operations manager at Crazy Dog T-Shirts, recognized this need and was ready to hop into action. 

    “As long-time donors and community partners, we were honored to partner with the RMSC on this important project. We have shared so many wonderful moments together, from sipping syrup at the Cumming Nature Center sugar shack, to After Dark events, and everything else in between,” said Borrelli. “We’ve heard a lot about what is ‘essential’ lately, but there’s no question that RMSC is absolutely vital for our continued growth as a community.”

    For more information on how to support the RMSC during this uncertain time, please reach out to Ryan Elizabeth Shear:, or 585.697.1924.

    To see all of the RMSC’s virtual, educational activities to enjoy at home, visit