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Mom and daughter 1 millionth visitors to Kitchener's TheMuseum

Jennifer Van Mol and her three-year-old daughter Alena were just coming into Kitchener's TheMuseum to take part in the ice painting craft and didn't realize staff were eagerly awaiting the one millionth visitor.

Duo came for ice painting craft and didn't realize Wednesday morning was special day

Jennifer Van Mol, left, smiles at her daughter Alena after learning she was the one millionth visitor to TheMuseum. The milestone was marked Wednesday morning with staff members and vice president of TheMuseum's board of directors Linda Fabi, right, applauding as Van Mol and her daughter walked through the door. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Jennifer Van Mol and her three-year-old daughter Alena are regular visitors to TheMuseum in downtown Kitchener, but Wednesday morning's visit was extra special.

They were welcomed by cheers as they walked through the door at 11:04 a.m.: the pair share the honour of being TheMuseum's one millionth visitor.

"It's kind of crazy," Van Mol said, laughing after she was told why staff members were clapping as she pushed her daughter in a stroller through the door.

Van Mol said they are museum subscription members and come every week. She didn't realize Wednesday was going to be extra special, though.

"We usually check TheMuseum, the Facebook stuff, but we didn't check it this morning. We were just coming out to do the craft because it was the ice painting," she said.

Her daughter loves checking out the different crafts, events and exhibits.

"There's so many different things she can do," Van Mol said. "Every day is a new experience."

Next milestone sooner

TheMuseum gave Van Mol a gift basket of items: Alena gets to choose a toy from the gift shop, Jennifer was awarded a one-year membership to TheMuseum, a one-year subscription to The Record, lunch at B at TheMuseum, passes to the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and a one-night stay at the Walper Hotel.

Linda Fabi, vice president of TheMuseum's board of directors, was on hand and said it was exciting to welcome their one millionth guest.

"We've been waiting for this for a long time," she said.

"I am so proud of TheMuseum and how each year it has grown, greater membership, greater activities, it's just tremendous."

And now — it's time to start planning for the two millionth visitor.

"This time took almost 14 years, but because our population is continuing to grow and grow and grow, and the memberships are growing, it'll be much sooner," she said.

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