PHMC Volunteers of the Year for 2019 Part 2

Ephrata Cloister Associates
David Heffley
David Heffley's connection to the site stretches back several generations to ancestors Peter and Barbara Heffley, early 18th-century married members of the Cloister. David has served on the Grounds Committee and on the Board of Directors, providing a good example of leadership and offering sound advice to guide the group in their support of the historic site. He is best known for managing the annual Apple Dumpling sales, a two-day event that raises funds to return original artifacts to the collection. David makes all the arrangements with a local bakery, sees to the transportation of the dumplings to the site, and supervises the sales. Proceeds from the sales have returned numerous items to Ephrata Cloister, including rare manuscripts, 18th-century Ephrata furniture, and one of only two known copies of a book, printed at Ephrata, about a comet that appeared in 1743.

Flagship Niagara League
Brian Bailey and Larry Kisielewski
Brian Bailey began volunteering with the ship, with his family, at the age of 9. After a brief hiatus, he returned to the museum, where he is a steadfast, dependable, and reliable volunteer, imparting his guest services and nautical skills to his tour guests. He is extremely adaptable to audience needs and remains calm and courteous, even at the busiest times on the weekends.

Larry Kisielewski is constantly taking notes, adding depth and texture to his tours, for which he receives rave reviews. He always goes the extra mile, filling gaps in the guide schedule at a moment’s notice, dressing as Oliver Hazard Perry, or donning a penguin costume for children’s events (he also volunteers at the Erie Zoo).

Friends of Graeme Park
There is no honoree for 2019 for this site.

Friends of Hope Lodge
Bob Bradley
Bob Bradley has been a member and volunteer with historic Hope Lodge for over ten years, after he took a tour while studying for the Historic Preservation program at Bucks County Community College. As his interest in the site increased, he became a member of the Friends of Hope Lodge in 2010 and served a term as a member of the Board of Directors, helping with the site’s transition to all-volunteer program administration as a PHMC partner site. More recently, Bob started and helps maintain Hope Lodge’s social media presence, which has increased the site’s visibility and resulted in our being voted Best Museum in Montgomery County for the Montco Happening website four years in a row. Bob makes himself available to support all the site’s events and programs and can be counted on to support special group tours. He also enjoys assisting with training new volunteers and paid staff.

The Friends of Joseph Priestley House
George Godlewski
George Godlewski has been crucial to the success of the Priestley House for many years now but made particularly significant contributions to the site in 2019, overhauling the Friends' financial management. He instituted the use of QuickBooks software and diligently tracks all expenses and revenue, making Board reports easier and more meaningful. He worked closely with a local CPA to ensure all of the finances were in good standing and was a big part of the update to our site’s financial control policy. George also worked closely with the Northumberland National Bank to have our trust accounts actively managed so that the returns on the trusts are maximized. George was instrumental in getting our site’s “Ruth Eleanor McCorkill Trust” fund up and running and continuously provides updates to the Board on its status. Besides his role as Treasurer, George regularly volunteers at the house on the weekends, working in the Visitor Center or giving tours.

Landis Valley Associates
Sam Wise and Connell O’Brien
Joining the Landis Valley family in 2016, Sam Wise usually volunteers three days a week. He interprets multiple buildings, including the 1900 Country Store, the Gun Shop, the Textile Craft Barn, and the Landis Brothers House. He is an experienced woodworker and has contributed his time and talents to the Curatorial Department. Best known for his friendly and professional manner, Sam plays an integral role in the overall success of Landis Valley’s volunteer program.

Connell O'Brien began volunteering in 2018, bringing a wealth of experience working with people from all walks of life. With his supervisor’s guidance and support, he helped make the 1900 Country Store a more open and inclusive environment for visitors. Connell also interprets the Landis Brothers House. Respectful, friendly, and proficient are three words that help to describe this outstanding interpreter.

Friends of Old Economy Village
Coralee Syrko
Coralee Syrko is an enthusiastic and energetic volunteer. She guides tours and demonstrates candle dipping and rope making to adults and children, getting them involved in the process of how and why these activities were done by people in the 19th century. She also trains other volunteers to present these demonstrations. Coralee helped the curator clear out an old warehouse and attic and assisted with the delicate cleaning of furniture and artifacts. She has also helped with sorting a large collection of archival material and performed data entry while laid up at home with a broken leg. Coralee always shares our Facebook posts and rallies family and friends to assist with events and projects. She asked a few friends to help prepare and paint new wooden signs to identify buildings on site, and they completed the project in time for the start of the 2019 season.