PHMC Volunteers of the Year for 2016 Part 2

Ephrata Cloister Associates
Cathie Oliphant
Before she retired as a teacher, Cathie was a member of the Ephrata Cloister Chorus. She now serves on the Music Committee and arranges all the concert logistics for the group including locations, special musicians, and publicity. She’s a member of the Board of Directors and chairs the Membership Committee. Last year she played a key role in developing the site’s first Gala event and managed the annual Artisan’s Faire. Cathie serves as the chief proofreader for the quarterly newsletter, the new membership brochure she helped to create, and many of the publicity materials sent out by the site. She spends at least one afternoon a week at the admissions desk and helps with the Community Days school program annually. We thank Cathie for her time and talent and are extremely grateful for her energy and good cheer, which she shares so generously.

Flagship Niagara League
William Koehle
After joining the Volunteer Guide corps in 2011, Bill has gradually added to his skills and involvement in programming. In addition to guiding museum visitors, he also leads groups in the “Scouts Ahoy!” program, instructing students in knot tying, gun crew drill, sea bag activity, and sail handling exercise. Bill was extremely helpful during Erie’s hosting of the Tall Ships America events in 2013 and 2016, and he is serving as secretary of the Tall Ships 2019 Working Group as they plan for the next event. He generously shares his time and energy, eagerly shares his knowledge with visitors, and offers wise counsel to staff and fellow volunteers. We thank Bill for his dedication to and support of the museum, the ship, and the public.

Friends of Graeme Park
Diane Horan
A long-time volunteer, Diane took on the role of board treasurer in 2013, putting her accounting background to work for the good of the site. After gaining an understanding of the organization’s chaotic bookkeeping system, she undertook a much-needed revamping to bring it up to standards. The board can now meet all accounting deadlines and be confident they have accurate information and up-to-date records. Diane works closely with the board’s accounting firm to keep the books and other paperwork complete and timely and coordinates with the board to make sure that insurance coverage is current, invoices are paid, bank deposits are made, and important papers get to the accountants. We are extremely grateful for Diane’s attention to these critical tasks, her dedication to Graeme Park, and her commitment to strengthening the organization.

The Friends of Joseph Priestley House
Hope Webster Kopf
Hope has been a costumed docent for the Joseph Priestley House for many years, staffing the visitor’s center and providing guided tours. In 2016 she was elected to the Friends’ Board of Directors and was the driving force in imagining, planning, and executing a new exhibit that interprets the lives of children and their families in Northumberland during the time Joseph Priestley and his family resided there. Hope adopted an underused storage room, cleaned it up, got permission for minor adjustments to the space, and began building a collection of items and displays of interest to children. She created displays on clothing, daily chores, games and toys, education, and family life. She included objects that kids could play with, pick up, and try out. As one of the directors of the 2016 summer history camp, Hope adapted many of these activities to share with campers. The new display has been a great success, not only with younger visitors but with adults as well. Hope’s enthusiasm and dedication are greatly appreciated.

Landis Valley Associates
Carol Vogt and Dee Perry
For over ten years, Carol and Dee have teamed up to support Landis Valley’s staff curators and preparators. The two have helped to organize, house, and catalogue a wide variety of objects; label shelves; install and take down temporary exhibits; put up holiday decorations in the site historic buildings; and conduct research. Carol and Dee organized the museum’s quilt and hooked rug collections, physically arranging each in the Landis Collections Gallery storage area and producing a reference book with photographs, information, and accession numbers. For behind-the-scenes tours, they assist the curators by bringing quilts out of storage and staging them on temporary display racks. In 2016, they assisted the curators with organization and research as they reviewed thousands of buttons to determine which should be deaccessioned and which retained in the collection. We thank Carol and Dee for their consistent dedication to the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum and for their considerable contributions to the collections management efforts of the museum.

Friends of Old Economy Village
Sandy Smailer
Always a textile enthusiast and adept at spinning and weaving, Sandy (who began volunteering at Old Economy in 2012) became enchanted with the process of silk reeling. She now demonstrates the technique at site festivals using an apparatus built by her husband and supplies that she donates. Her demonstrations benefit the public, the staff, and her fellow volunteers. Sandy uses her considerable skills as a seamstress to lead the team that provides period clothing for the guides; she also serves as a guide, giving knowledgeable and entertaining tours. She demonstrates candle dipping, makes bread in the wood-fired bake oven, and provides beautiful music on her harp for the annual Christmas at the Village program. We thank Sandy for her seemingly inexhaustible store of talent, curiosity, and energy and for her generosity in putting them all to work for the benefit of Old Economy Village and the visitors we serve.