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Press Release - State Historical Society Honor Volunteers for Donating Nearly 11,000 Service Hours In Past Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2013
Contact: Beth Campbell
701.328.2674

State Historical Society Honor Volunteers for Donating Nearly 11,000 Service Hours In Past Year

BISMARCK – The State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND) recently honored the Society’s Heritage Volunteers for donating nearly 11,000 hours of service during the past year. This year marks the 32st anniversary of the volunteer program. More than 200 volunteers, ages 14 to 94, donate their time and talent to help the agency meet its mission.

The Independent Sector, a coalition for non-profit groups, values volunteer time at $22.14 per hour. Based on that figure, Heritage Volunteers’ donation of time is valued at $243,500.

Volunteers honored on August 8 for outstanding service to the state’s history agency included:

Verlyn Larson received the Dedication Award for having served the most hours from May 1 of 2012 to April 30, 2013. In that time Verlyn volunteered 506 hours in the State Archives and with the SHSND Foundation. Since Verlyn began volunteering in 1999, she has donated 3,399 hours.

Erna Lahr received the Hospitality Award for outstanding service to the public. Since 1990 Erna has been on the front line with our visitors. She has a welcome for each and every person who enters our doors, assists with training new volunteers, and is always striving to do what is best for visitors. In her 23 years as a volunteer, Erna has served 3,749 hours.

The Youth Award was presented to Sawyer Flynn a volunteer at the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center near Williston. Sawyer has researched several individuals from the Ft. Buford cemetery to develop historically accurate accounts of the reason the individual was buried at the cemetery. He then uses that information to “ghost” that person as part of the Ft Buford cemetery walk each October.

The Curatorial Award for exceptional achievement in a non-public area was presented to Mary Diebel who volunteers in Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Mary has been working in the lab sorting through thousands of archaeology artifacts for about 6 years. Mary also works as a docent and has worked in the archives.

Ten years of service awards were presented to Mavis Anderson, Dolores Helma, Jeannie Bird, and Valerie Otto. Mavis volunteers at the information desk. Since she began volunteering, Mavis has donated 1,617 hours. Dolores volunteers at the information desk and has donated 1,491 hours. Jeannie Bird volunteers in the State Archives, where she has served 1,009 hours. Valerie Otto volunteers in the Museum Store and has donated 1,383 hours.

Twenty years of service awards were presented to Kathe Hall and Darlene Turitto. Kathe Hall who volunteers in the Museum Store, has served 2,647 hours. Darlene Turitto sits on the board of the Society for the Preservation of the Former Governors’ Mansion and has served 1,178 hours.

The first hundred hours of service awards were presented to: Karen DaSilva for volunteering at Former Governors’ Mansion; Mary Diebel and Gary Tibke for their volunteer time in Archaeology and Historic Preservation Division; Donna Frohlich for her volunteer hours in the Museum Store; Mike Heyd and Marsha Lembke for their volunteer time at the Information Desk; Marian Oakland who volunteers at the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center; Paul Olson, of Fargo, for serving on the SHSND Foundation Board; Karen Thompson and Joan Von Rueden for their work with the Society for the Preservation of the Former Governors’ Mansion.

Beth Campbell, SHSND Visitor Services coordinator, noted that since 1981, volunteers statewide have contributed more than 385,000 hours of service to the Society and its sites and museums. The Heritage Volunteers are dedicated to assisting the State Historical Society of North Dakota and its Foundation in identifying, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of North Dakota and its people.

For information about becoming a volunteer, contact SHSND Visitor Services Coordinator Beth Campbell at 701.328.2674 or email bcampbell@nd.gov.

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