Archived Story

Volunteers help make program a success

Published 8:07am Sunday, May 12, 2013

Column: Preserving the Past, by Pat Mulso

Happy Mother’s Day to all our readers! Maybe spring has finally arrived! Remember to call your mother if you are not able to see her today. My mother passed away more than six years ago, and I still miss her and at times pick up the phone to call her or think about stopping by St. John’s Lutheran Home to see what she is doing.

Pat Mulso
Pat Mulso

Often I think about the sayings that she repeated to us numerous times through our lives such as: If you are going to do a job, do it right or don’t bother to do it at all; you don’t have to prove anything, if someone does not accept your word, they are not worth their salt; God will never give you more than you can handle; and I love you no matter what, but please don’t disappoint me. Do they sound familiar? She always knew what to say and when to just listen.

I think what I cherish the most are the times she came to spend with me after I moved to Minnesota. We would play cards, watch a movie or work on her photo albums she made for the grandchildren. We didn’t have to do anything special, just spend time together. She was always willing to help with any project that I might be working on and always encouraged me to learn and try new things.

This past Sunday our Discover History program was mentioned in a Star Tribune article about museums and their part in education. I was disappointed in the brief summary that was given and the fact that no mention was given to the volunteer mentors and other volunteers who help make the program a huge success.

Jim Haney and I both explained the process of our program, but space restraints must have come into play for our part of the story. Our Discover History Days took place this last week and is a wonderful experience for our local fifth-graders and our 11th-grade humanities students.

Each participating 11th-grader is assigned to one of 16 subject areas and is responsible for a 45-minute presentation that they give to a different group of fifth-graders four times during the day. Each fifth-grader participates in four different subject areas and also attends an opening presentation by a Col. Albert Miller Lea portrayer telling his story.

During the lunch hour each student attends a recycling presentation, eats lunch and has time to shop in the museum gift shop. We usually have about 30 to 35 presenters, 30 to 32 mentors, 165 to 180 fifth-graders and approximately 20 other volunteers helping throughout each day. We are very thankful for our dedicated volunteers and the tremendous efforts of the humanities teacher, Jim Haney, our Minnesota History Teacher of the Year.

We can be very proud of our program and its continued success. This year was a bit of a challenge with the addition in progress and the late snow leaving the village in a muddy state. We want to thank the fairgrounds for coming to our rescue and allowing us to use the 4-H building for our opening presentation and other needs throughout the day. We are a community that works together! Thank you to everyone that made this year’s program a success!

The museum will be hosting a four-hour defensive driving class from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. June 11 and another from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 29. The cost is $19, and you must preregister. (The class for May 14 is full.) Please stop by the museum during our regular business hours — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or call us at 373-8003.

Mark your calendars for Eddie Cochran Weekend — June 7, 8 and 9. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 7 and June 8. I will include all the details of the weekend in my article two weeks from today. Have a great week, and remember to call or see your mother!


Pat Mulso is the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum in Albert Lea.