In 1990, when CFA Judge Vaughn Barber visited the Katzen Museum, located near Zurich, Switzerland, he was very impressed with the collection of artifacts and feline history on display. He immediately began to promote an idea for the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) to start a similar project to preserve the artifacts of the cat and cat fancy in America.
Together with other enthusiasts for the idea - Donald Williams, Michael Brim, Tom Dent and Sy Howard - Vaughn put together a proposal to establish The Cat Fanciers’ Association Foundation, Inc. as an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. The proposal was supported and approved by the CFA Board of Directors in June,1990.
To fulfill this dream of the CFA Foundation would, of course, require accumulation of a sizable treasury. At the June 1991 annual meeting, the first monetary donation to the fledgling foundation came from Leon Samuels, on behalf of the Purrfect Persians club. This was followed closely by a donation from Wayne Field and the Oregon Cat Fanciers.
In 1992, the Foundation saw the beginning of a library with book donations by Joan Ardrey, Joanne and Don Thompson, and other supportive cat fanciers.
A major boost to the collection of cat fancy artifacts was possible thanks to a generous monetary donation by the National Capital Cat Show. This donation allowed the CFA Foundation to purchase the silver collar and medal awarded to Cosey, Best in Show at the National Cat Show, New York,1895.
In 2009, the CFA Foundation was the recipient of a generous donation and an enormous collection of cat figurines, collectibles and artwork from the estate of Wilton E. Wheeldon and her mother, Gladys J. Wheeldon. Much of this collection is on display in the museum.
Recent Past Presidents - CFA Foundation:
David Mare 2006-2007
Hilary Helmrich 2007-2011
David Mare 2011-2018
Interest in the Foundation has grown throughout the past two decades and the organization has experienced a substantial increase in donations to their collection.
CFA Foundation Feline Historical Museum NOW OPEN in Alliance, Ohio
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on June 10,2011 for the new CFA Foundation museum. The museum is now open at 260 East Main Street, Alliance, Ohio. Effective June 1, 2012, the museum hours are:
Tuesday through Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
Incorporated as a not-for profit corporation under laws of the state of New York on June 26, 1990. The foundation has been ruled not a private foundation, and is exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, contributions to the foundation are deductible for Federal income, gift and estate tax purposes.