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Massena Museum recognizes volunteers for their efforts

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MASSENA - Whether it’s manning the desk and welcoming visitors or clipping and scanning news articles, every volunteer at the Massena Museum plays an important role, according to Massena Town Historian MaryEllen Casselman.

She showed her appreciation for their efforts Tuesday by holding a volunteer appreciation lunch and recognizing their Volunteer of the Year, Pam Barclay.

“We do it (the luncheon) once a year,” Ms. Casselman said.

She said they have about a dozen volunteers who faithfully share their time to help with the museum. Some can be found making sure the museum is open so visitors can take a trip through the building and have their questions answered.

“They have a presence here for people coming in from 1 to 4 p.m. We depend on them to keep the museum open,” Ms. Casselman said.

Other volunteers who have computer skills input information such as cemetery records into the museum’s system. Some who are particularly computer savvy will clip articles and scan them into the computer.

And yet others do research to build on the data that’s available to museum visitors who are searching for their own historical information, according to Ms. Casselman.

She said some volunteers have been with them for several years, sometimes several decades. John Kormanyos, who is no longer able to volunteer, has worked with the museum for about 31 years, she said.

Another long-time volunteer, Margaret Disotell, comes in when she’s needed these days, and Cecilia Dewey began volunteering in the 1970s, according to Massena’s historian.

Ms. Barclay, the Volunteer of the Year, has donated her time to the museum since 2005. And it’s been plenty of donated time, Ms. Casselman said.

“She puts in several hours every week, an average of three hours a day,” she said.

Some volunteers are more active in the summer, but head south for the winter. Others are more active in the winter after taking vacation time in the summer. No matter what though, Ms. Casselman said, they make themselves available when they have the time to give to the museum.

The volunteers who were recognized Tuesday include Mr. Kormanyos, Ms. Disotell, Ms. Dewey, Ms. Barclay, Betty Hare, Kathleen Mullins, Linda MacDonald, Pat Shope, George R. Love, Tom Belgard, Pat O’Brien and Stella Jessmer.

Ms. Casselman said they could always more volunteers.

“Give us a call or stop down. They don’t need any particular skills, just an interest in Massena and the desire to keep the museum open,” she said.

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