DERRY | The Children's Metamorphosis museum is saying thank you in a big way.

The downtown museum will host a free, open house "Met Day" on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to say thanks to the supporters, businesses, and individuals who pitched in this summer to help the museum stay open after financial trouble almost forced it to close.

The Met announced in July that it would close its doors effective Aug. 31, the result of growing debt and overdue rent payments.

A "Save the Met" campaign began in earnest soon after, with supporters stepping up to help the museum remain open. Dozens of new volunteers came forward, and many individuals and businesses donated money to raise the $50,000 needed to pay off debts and handle immediate expenses.

The Met's board of directors also gained new faces, with about 17 people on board by the deadline date.

"The community was incredibly generous and supportive through our recent 'Save the Met' fundraising campaign," Executive Director Tracy LaPlante said. "Met Day is our way of saying thank you and encouraging people to come in and see just what it is they helped save."

Saturday's Met Day features a day full of craft projects, face painting, raffles, exhibit tours and activities for families and the community. Lunch and refreshments will be offered throughout the day.

Special entertainment includes a performance by Partners in Rhyme at 11 a.m. At 3 p.m., professional magician and comedian Matt Roberts performs a magic show. Roberts is the "Magic Man" character in the nationally televised series "Ribert and Robert's Wonderland" broadcast by PBS and the Armed Forces Network.

In addition, the Met will kick off its new membership drive to celebrate its new life in the downtown. An annual membership costs $75 and provides unlimited free daily admission for family members, plus discounts on special programs and activities.

Families booking memberships on Saturday will also receive special gifts and coupons for Stonyfield Farm products. Stonyfield was a major force in the "Save the Met" campaign, with a $10,000 a year, three-year commitment, and planning an interactive exhibit at the museum space to teach children about organic farming.

"An annual membership is both an appreciative gesture of support and a great value for families who take advantage of it," acting Met board Chairman Paul Lindemann said.

Sponsors for Saturday's event include Stonyfield, Buttonwood Appraisals, Romano's Pizza, and Lindt Chocolates.

To learn more about the Met, or Saturday's Met Day, call 425-2560 or visit the museum online at www.childrensmet.org.

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