Volunteers of the Year, part 1

Two weeks ago, we honored 25 volunteers for their service at our historic sites and museums during 2011. I’ve been involved with the volunteer of the year awards since the early 1990s, and it never gets old. Folks came from all over the state to receive their awards and to help celebrate the honorees. This week and in weeks to come, I’ll introduce you to the people who were recognized this year for their efforts on behalf of our shared heritage.

But first, here’s some info on a new exhibit at Anthracite Heritage Museum, opening today (May 4). The exhibit, “Penn Foster: Alma Mater to the Millions,” sheds light on a distance-education training program that began over 100 years ago to help anthracite miners gain the skills and knowledge they needed to seek advancement (while still working a 12-hour day in the mines). The exhibit will continue through December 22.

And speaking of Anthracite Heritage, Vivian Cleveland joined the volunteer team there in 2009, where she has excelled in customer service (at the admissions desk and the museum store) and membership development.

Joe Barnett serves Brandywine Battlefield in many capacities, including guiding tours and assisting with the Colonial Day education program by portraying a Revolutionary War soldier.

Bushy Run Battlefield recognized John Brenkus for, among other contributions, his work at the annual battle reenactment and other special events and his service on the board of the Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society.

Joyce Bucci drives three hours from her home in New York State to volunteer at Conrad Weiser Homestead, where she assists at special events and has put her considerable skills as a seamstress to good use creating reproduction 18th-century clothing.

At Cornwall Iron Furnace, Irvin Muritz has served as Treasurer and chair of the buildings and grounds committee, providing leadership in board governance and all kinds of special events.

Lydia Rieger spends countless hours tending to Daniel Boone Homestead’s livestock, including donating materials and equipment to help in taking care of the animals.

Look for more of these admittedly brief intros in the weeks to come.


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