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The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute
Virgil Allen, president of International Petroleum Museum & Exposition in Morgan City, displays one of the puzzles he completed on the Shadow-Puzzle app.

Funds for Mr. Charlie? There's an app for that

The International Petroleum Museum & Exposition, home of the “Mr. Charlie” rig, is conducting a virtual fundraiser for the museum.
The fundraiser involves an app called Shadow-Puzzle Game. The free app features about 4,800 puzzles. Of those, Virgil Allen, president of the Inter-national Petroleum Museum & Exposition, created about 4,700.
The way the app works is you scan a code provided by the museum or connect to it via this link:

https://wcf7v.app.link/F9NMy5hmj6?%243p=a_custom_785348350215425190

Then, you are given an initial pack of puzzles for free in which puzzles begin with one piece before building up to eight pieces.
From there, other packs are available in either a set of 100 puzzles for $1.99 or 750 puzzles for $9.99.
“We can create more if we get to the point where people use all that up,” Allen said.
No two puzzles are alike.
“All ages can do it,” Allen said.
While the app store receives 30% of the profits from purchases, the museum receives the other 70%.
Currently, the app is available only via Apple products, but Allen said eventually it will be extended to Android products.
The museum can help others through the fundraiser, too.
“What we’re looking to do and have started is working with other groups that also want to use this as a virtual fundraiser,” Allen said.
In the partnerships, the 70% profit is split in half between the museum and the partnering entity.
With a virtual fundraiser, the link to the game and to make in-app purchases can be passed via social media or email.
Since rolling out the app last March, the museum has seen sales, via word of mouth, internationally.
“We’re seeing people from all over the world playing the game,” Allen said, noting Columbia, Mexico, Brazil, Sri Lanka, China and Ireland as some places where the app has been accessed.
The app was developed over a multiyear process, and while it still is in its infancy, Allen said in time, it will generate more revenue for the museum.
Money will be used to benefit the museum in any way such as pay bills, new projects or renovations.
“We hope it goes viral, and it does afford us to do some expansion,” Allen said.
The “Mr. Charlie” museum is the world’s first offshore movable drilling rig, Allen said.
While it no longer is used in industry for oil drilling, it still is used for training by educational and industrial sectors.
It is found in Morgan City, the birthplace of offshore oil.
Tours are available Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., weather permitting. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for students.
For more information on partnering with the museum in the fundraiser, call 985-384-3744.

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