PHMC Volunteers of the Year for 2018 part 3

The Pennsbury Society
Beth Lepianka
Beth Lepianka has been a volunteer at Pennsbury Manor for 10 years. She first began volunteering with her daughter, but when her daughter left for college a few years later, Beth stayed on. She began by doing little things here and there for programs as support for her daughter’s activities, but then it began to evolve. Beth took up a weekly animal care shift, joined the Sewing Group to care for the period clothing collection, and joined the Living History Theater. Now, she even helps the staff plan, research, set up, execute, and clean up large public programs, on top of her other three commitments, and is training to become a tour guide. Beth has quickly become a regular on site; if something needs doing, she is always the first one to volunteer to help. All of her volunteer activities combine to total hundreds of hours per year. Her impact on the site since her retirement has been profound. Several of Pennsbury’s public programs have improved in overall quality arguably because of her hard work and all the support she gives the staff. Pennsbury Manor honors Beth for her dedication, passion for history, and selfless support in pursuit of our mission.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates
Jack Deurer
Jack Deurer played a vital role in completing the Bob Webber cabin relocation project in 2018. A log home builder for over 30 years, Jack was a life-long friend of Bob and Dotty Webber and helped them build an addition to their cabin in the 1980s. After Bob Webber’s death in 2015, Jack was eager to help preserve the cabin and the Webbers’ legacy of service to Pennsylvania’s forests. He was an early advocate for getting the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum involved and joined a large group of supporters who felt moving the Webber cabin to the museum would be a “good fit.” Jack supplied the know-how and determination to make the move a reality. He numbered every piece of the cabin before dismantling it and made sure that everything was put back together properly on the museum grounds, even making replacements for parts of the cabin that were too deteriorated to reuse. With Jack’s supervision, the reconstruction was completed in two months, from May through July 2018. In many ways, the cabin is now stronger than when the Webbers occupied it, a conscious decision that Jack made to ensure the longevity of this new historic building exhibit at the Lumber Museum. Jack continues to be involved with the project, helping with information about the Webbers to be used on interpretive panels and loaning some objects they owned to be used in exhibits in the cabin.

Friends of the Pennsylvania Military Museum
Victor Campbell
Vic Campbell is a valuable asset to the Pennsylvania Military Museum. He contributes his time on a routine basis giving tours, staffing the front desk, and visiting regional schools as part of our travelling educator program. Vic regularly shows up early and stays late to ensure that our events are a success – he is the epitome of a gentleman, scholar, and team player. His enthusiasm and optimism are contagious - no matter how burdensome the task, Vic is eager to pitch in. Once, while out for a stroll on his own time, he saw museum staff setting up for an outdoor program and, not being one to walk by, he jumped-to and began helping prep for the event. Vic is most deserving of recognition. His humble and kind nature preclude him from being boastful, but rather he is a quiet professional focused on mission success.

Friends of the Railroad Museum
William Cole
Bill Cole began volunteering at the Railroad Museum in 2012 and is usually at the Museum two days a week. During his time at the Museum, Bill has used his talents in a variety of departments. He is a scanner and database cataloguer in the archives and serves as a great source of information for other volunteers when questions arise. He also helps prepare copies of documents and photographs for researchers, generating fees that benefit the Friends. In the Education Center, Bill works on maintenance of the Pennsylvania Landscapes layout and interprets the exhibit for visitors. One of his major projects was rewiring the entire layout to reduce the number of stalled trains. In the fall of 2017, the Museum moved a large model train layout from the main lobby to the second floor to accommodate new exhibits, and Bill’s advice and technical support ensured a smooth transition. He frequently lends a hand during a variety of special events, including Garden Railway Tours and Rails & Ales, and serves on the IT committee.

Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County
Judy Swank
Judy Swank is a dedicated gardening and site beautification volunteer at the Somerset Historical Center. Last year, Judy parked her camper on site for the entire summer and enjoyed the tranquil setting of camping life the Center has to offer. While there, she planted, weeded, and watered the beautiful flowers, pots, and historic gardens throughout the entire site. Each evening, she could be found filling her watering cans and loading them onto a golf cart. The golf cart puttered from planting to planting, stopping long enough for her to pull a new weed that sprang up and for her to give them a drink of cool water to help them grow. Judy’s dedication paid off in the late summer and fall with a colorful arrangement of flowers and plants for visitors to enjoy. Many of the plants were perennials and will be coming up year after year, so her contributions will be as long-lasting as they are beautiful.

The Friends of the State Museum
Andy Stauffer
Andy Stauffer has been a volunteer in the museum’s Section of Archaeology for ten years and has gone about his tasks with the same level of discipline and thoroughness that he demonstrated in his military career with the U.S. Army. The tasks have included washing artifacts, rolling Archaeology Month posters, and entering inventories in databases. Most recently, he has been scanning slides in a digitization project that has enabled us to access color slides documenting several hundred archaeological sites and ensuring the preservation of this field record. Andy is cognizant of the significance of this project and respectful of the confidential nature of the images, which often contain sensitive site information. Andy works independently; we provide him with the instructions to start a project and have the confidence that the job will be completed to our expectations. Andy’s recent retirement from working at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire has provided him with additional time to help with our Workshops in Archaeology and the Pennsylvania Farm Show.