It’s a cliché, but clichés get to be that way for a reason — with Jekyll Island’s new Mosaic museum, you have to see it to believe it.

The official grand opening is April 27, but Saturday evening a cocktail party sneak-peak took place for donors to the multi-million dollar effort that got the museum to where it is today.

With catering by Halyards and music by the Jekyll Island Big Band, donors got a look at the exhibits featuring prized artifacts of days gone by, along with interactive and hands-on displays that will no doubt draw children’s attention as they weave through the museum.

Mike Hodges, chairman of the Jekyll Island Authority board, framed Mosaic as an extension of Jekyll’s reawakening in the modern era.

“The revitalization of Jekyll has been underway now for a little more than 11 years, and during that time the Jekyll Island Authority’s completed many public-private projects,” Hodges said. “Some are big and easily recognizable, like our beautiful convention center and our beach village. But equally important to our board are smaller projects that balance development with continued public use of Jekyll Island. Those projects are our public parks, handicap access to all our venues, and certainly all of our conservation initiatives.”

Hodges said the goal for the board is to improve the island experience for guests and residents, without changing the characteristics that make Jekyll what it is, and that the Jekyll Island Foundation has been an important partner in in that process. One example given was the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which Hodges called a gamechanger.

“A lot of people think the next gamechanger for Jekyll Island is this beautiful museum that we’re celebrating tonight, Mosaic,” Hodges said. “I don’t know if any of you had the opportunity to see this building before and after — if you did, the only thing you can say is, one hell of a transformation. It is really something to brag about. We think that the museum will add an important new dimension to Jekyll Island, and it will be an attraction for years to come, and our Authority is really glad to be a partner in it.”

Boog Candler, chairwoman of the Jekyll Island Foundation, thanked Southern Company Gas’ Hank Linginfelter and The Brunswick News’ Buff Leavy for their work raising money for the museum, calling them both hardworking Georgia gentlemen.

“When it was time for the Jekyll Island Foundation to knock on doors and tell the Mosaic story, Hank Linginfelter and Buff Leavy led the way,” Candler said. “Thank you Hank and Buff for your leadership, time and talents as co-chairs of the Jekyll Island Foundation Mosaic Campaign.”

She added that she believes Mosaic to be an exciting addition to the Jekyll Island experience.

“The renovation of this historic building and the innovative recreation of the Jekyll story, throughout this space, represent a new opportunity for students, teachers, parents and visitors to explore the magic behind this amazing island,” Candler said.

JIA Executive Director Jones Hooks said there’s still a little tweaking left and details to resolve before the official grand opening. However, he said he believes that Mosaic, like some other projects on Jekyll, retains the character of the island.

Hooks said, “I hope as you’ve been through the Mosaic tonight, you realize why Mosaic — it means a blending of not only the natural resources, but also the human resources that make Jekyll Island special.”

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