Volunteers of the Year, part 3

The National History Day in Pennsylvania contest wrapped up at the beginning of the month, with more than 700 participants competing to go to the national event in June. (To view the list of winning entries, go here.) As you may know, History Day is a bit misleading, since students (with support from their teachers/parents/librarians/etc.) spend months researching and developing their entries. I’ve been involved with the state program in Pennsylvania for *gulp* twenty years as a judge (and as state coordinator for a few years before the turn of the century). It’s always a joy to see the quality of research and presentation that students are capable of and a hopeful sign for the field of history.

Another hopeful sign is the continuing dedication of volunteers to sites on the Trails of History (smooth, huh?). This week is the third installment of our recap of the Volunteer of the Year awards honoring service in 2011 (week 1 here, week 2 here).

Barbara and Bruce Johnson, long-time volunteers at Joseph Priestley House, performed extraordinary service in 2011 when flooding from Tropical Storm Lee threatened the house and surrounding neighborhood.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum’s Heirloom Seed Project and farm program have benefitted greatly from the fact that Floyd Ruhl was looking for something “to keep himself busy” when he retired.

Ann Sevcik has devoted many hours to the curatorial, archival, and music collections and programs at Old Economy Village, from cleaning, to research, to database entry, to promotion.

Pennsbury Manor honoree Carole Cunliffe has provided leadership and hands-on hard work to help keep the animal program going, in addition to her participation in the site’s living history theater troupe.

In addition to a wealth of mechanical knowledge, Bill Roberts has contributed countless handmade wooden items to the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum for sale in the museum store and for inclusion in the silent auction fundraiser, where they draw high bids.

Bryant T. Mesick has supported the Pennsylvania Military Museum’s educational mission by giving tours of the 28th Division Shrine and exhibits (indoors and out) and by helping to launch two new initiatives in 2011 aimed at the museum’s younger visitors.

Next week, part 4 of our recap, plus a list of sites that will be open on Memorial Day.


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