Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library closing in Cape Coral

Charles Runnells
 
| Fort Myers News-Press

After 11 years, the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library will close its doors Wednesday in Cape Coral.

“It’s just the end of the road,” said founder and CEO Ralph Santillo. “That’s it.”

The closure comes after a financial dispute with the museum’s former business partner, which owns the building and had wanted the museum to pay $5,000 a month in rent, which would go up to $8,000 next year. Until recently, the museum wasn’t required to pay rent at all.

The other option: Buy the building for $1.8 million — money the museum’s leaders say they don’t have.

Santillo and the museum’s board of directors tried raising the money earlier this year, but only received about $6,500 through a GoFundMe page and other donations.

“It was never enough to really make a dent,” Santillo said. “We had to really face reality that we’re

Read More Read more

Cape Coral military museum closes Wednesday. New homes needed for artifacts, vet services

After 11 years, the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library will close its doors Wednesday in Cape Coral.



a man holding a wine glass: Ralph Santillo, center, leads guests in the Pledge of Allegiance, Tuesday, Sept. 29, as staff and volunteers hosted their final luncheon for veterans at the museum. The Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library will be closing Wednesday, September 30, 2020 after a bitter dispute with its former business partner. Now its organizers are figuring out what to do next, including possibly finding a new space.


© Ricardo Rolon/The News-Press USA TODAY NETWORK – FLORIDA
Ralph Santillo, center, leads guests in the Pledge of Allegiance, Tuesday, Sept. 29, as staff and volunteers hosted their final luncheon for veterans at the museum. The Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library will be closing Wednesday, September 30, 2020 after a bitter dispute with its former business partner. Now its organizers are figuring out what to do next, including possibly finding a new space.

“It’s just the end of the road,” says founder and CEO Ralph Santillo. “That’s it.”

The closure comes after a financial dispute with the museum’s former business partner, which owns the building and had wanted the museum to pay $5,000 a month in rent, which would go up to $8,000 next year. Until recently, the museum wasn’t required

Read More Read more