Open The Doors | Turn a history of exclusion into a future of inclusion.
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Sponsor a Bench

Our Immigrant Heritage Bench program offers a unique opportunity to be part of our Open the Doors campaign by honoring the legacy of those who came before us, shaping our lives and the history of America.

Located in significant locations at the Immigration Station site, there are 36 benches set aside in serene, yet important places to recognize our history and heritage. Initial sponsorships are available for a term of fifteen years, renewable for a second fifteen years at half the rate of the initial sponsorship.

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Sponsor a Bench
AIISF Benches FAQs

1. On locations:

    1. Are the bench locations specific?
      1. Yes, they are. And that’s why, where possible, we urge you to visit the site in person to select your bench and confirm its exact location which will then be recorded on the Master Map. In the event you can’t visit the site, we will photograph your location and send it to you for your review.
    1. When can we visit the site?
      1. Anytime. A member of the AIISF team will accompany you and be available to answer your questions, just call to make an appointment. Grant Din, 415-348-9200×11.
    1. Are the locations permanent?
      1. Yes.

On construction and maintenance:

    1. What are the benches made of?
      1. Kiln dried, vertical grain Douglas fir. Star Brite teak oil.
    2. How are we dealing with change?
      1. The entire site experiences almost no damage or vandalism. Any such damage will be repaired by AIISF.

On the inscription:

    1. What can we write on the plaque?
      1. The character count is strictly prescribed for each line by California State Parks. And while we can recommend certain types of copy content for each line, the sponsor may use their discretion with prior approval of AIISF and California State Parks.
    1. What are the character counts
      1. Line 1: 24 pt; maximum 32 Characters
      2. Line 2 (NAME): 32 pt. maximum 25 Characters
      3. Third 3 (DATE): 21 pt; maximum 35 Characters
      4. Line 4(CREDIT): 24 pt. maximum 32 Characters

On acknowledgement of the sponsoring donor/s.

    1. How will the donor or donors sponsoring the Bench be acknowledged? There isn’t enough room on the plaque.
      1. All donors will be acknowledged on a special Honor Roll included in the renovation of the Public Health Service Hospital entry way between the two doors. With special permission of California State Parks, the Honor Wall is being designed by Second Story, the firm designing the exhibits, and will use new media and other contemporary techniques.
      1. All donors will also be acknowledged:
        1. On the campaign website
        2. In the next available edition of our monthly newsletter
        3. At special events designed to celebrate the benches, their dedicatees and sponsors.

Will there be events celebrating the benches?

    1. We are planning a dedication ceremony for the summer or fall of 2016. There will be a brief welcoming ceremony, and then time for you and your guests to view your Bench, reflect on your dedication, etc.
    1. How will we know when and where?
      1. We will contact you several weeks before the event.

On payment:

    1. What’s the deadline to be included in the first phase of Benches?
      1. Orders must be confirmed with payment no later than Monday, September 28, to be included in the Dedication Ceremony which follows on Saturday, October 24.
    1. Can Benches be held while I confirm our family of donors?
      1. Yes. We will be happy to hold a bench for ten days. After that time, if you haven’t yet made your payment or deposit, that bench will revert to open inventory and be available for others.
    1. What if we can’t confirm a Bench by the deadline, can I still sponsor a bench later?
      1. Yes. As long as there are bench locations available, our campaign remains open. The deadlines are to assure that you can be included in the dedication ceremonies. The next dedication will be in the Spring, 2016.
    1. How are sponsorships paid?
      1. In a variety of ways:
        1. Checks, made payable to Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.
        2. We accept MasterCard, Visa and American Express
        3. Transfers of appreciated assets (stocks, bonds, etc.) are also welcome.
    2. Can the sponsorship be paid for by multiple donors?
      1. Yes. Except that we ask that
        1. One person in your group be designated as the official contact for AIISF and that all communication about the Bench and its payment will come through that designated liaison.
        2. All checks, which must be made payable to Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, should be transmitted to AIISF at one time, or no more than two or three bundles at different times, by your designated liaison. (Please Do NOT make checks payable to your designated liaison, and have that liaison send us one check.) This is necessary to assure tax-deductibility for each donor’s gift and that those individual donors are properly acknowledged.
    1. Can we pay for the sponsorship in installments?
      1. Yes. The policy is that benches can be confirmed with a deposit and a pledge or one or two scheduled payments. The policy, according to level of the sponsorship, is:
        1. Benches from $12, 500 to $20,000 can be confirmed with a deposit of 35% and two payments in the next two calendar years. (For example, a deposit made on Feb 1, 2016 would require subsequent pledge payments no later than Feb 1, 2017 and Feb 1, 2018.)
        2. Benches from $5,000 to $10,000 can be confirmed with a deposit of 50% and one payment no more than 12 months later.
    1. Can we pay for both the initial sponsorships and the renewal at one time?
      1. Yes. Either by making payment in full or by using the deposit/pledge formulas described in 3.b.1 & 2 above.