EdVenture Names Eddie’s Firefly “J” in Honor of Fallen Firefighter James Muller

EdVenture’s 2nd Annual Kickoff to Summer opening ceremony recognized the Muller family

COLUMBIA, S.C., May 29, 2024 – Last summer, EdVenture’s iconic 40-foot-tall child named Eddie, had a firefly land on his finger. After calling for name ideas from the general public, EdVenture received one particular submission that was worthy of a naming ceremony. During the museum’s second annual kick-off to summer celebration, the firefly on Eddie’s finger received the moniker “J” after fallen firefighter of the Irmo Fire District, James M. Muller.

EdVenture’s summer theme, “Come EdVenture Together,” was chosen to emphasize the meaning of community.

“When we come together to support one another, we all thrive,” says Andy Marquart, CEO of EdVenture. “There’s no better example of that message than the story of what happened here at EdVenture when Jasi Smith, one of our community members, suggested we call Eddie’s new firefly in honor James Muller.”

Smith, who had never met or personally known the Muller family, was moved by James’ story and wanted to pay tribute and respect to honor him.

“We hope this memorial not only commemorates James’ bravery,” says Marquart, “but also embodies the essence of our community, in which neighbors support and protect one another.”

Aside from Eddie, the other iconic and larger-than-life exhibit at EdVenture is the fire truck in Dalmatian Station. The Irmo Fire District plays a large part of exhibit’s success through their community service of fire safety education.

“I know, personally, that outreach aspects of the job like educating kids here at EdVenture was one of Muller’s favorite parts of what he did as a firefighter,” says Fire Chief, Mike Sonefeld. “We are proud to have his memory lighting up EdVenture through the naming of the firefly on Eddie’s finger.”

This year’s summer celebration at EdVenture aims to engage the community in learning, fun, and togetherness, reinforcing the museum’s commitment to education and community engagement. In addition to the heartwarming firefly naming ceremony, the summer kickoff event also featured a special appearance by Renee Atkinson, the 2024 Teacher of the Year, who helped the crowd countdown to pull the switch that lights the firefly on Eddie’s finger.

For more information, visit edventure.org/light-up-edventure.