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Empire Machinery CEO John Whiteman. (Photo: Bob McClay/KTAR)

MESA, Ariz. -- The Arizona Museum For Youth is getting a financial boost and it couldn't come at a better time.

The museum is changing its name next year to the I.D.E.A. Museum. The acronym stands for "Imagination. Design. Experience. Art." It hopes to bring art and science exhibits to help kids think outside the box to solve local and global problems.

When he heard that the museum needed money for the project, former Empire Machinery CEO John Whiteman decided to donate $100,000.

"I just couldn't see them getting the rocket off of the launch pad with no fuel in the rocket," he said. "They had a great plan, they had a great rocket and they had a great north star they wanted to go to."

But they didn't have the money to get there.

Whiteman promised to make the donation on the condition that the city of Mesa match it, which it agreed to. The museum is about to start an online campaign to raise another $100,000 from the public. The details of the campaign have not yet been announced.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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