Museum has exciting new projects in store

Published 9:15 am Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pat Mulso, Preserving the Past

August has been an extremely busy month for the museum with the Freeborn County Fair, an AARP four-hour refresher defensive driving class, a Library Lock-In, Echoes from the Past…A Journey into History, the FCHM Building Expansion Open House and visitors from several countries and many out of state researchers. The museum board of directors will be serving food at the Farmers Market on Wednesday, Aug. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. Please join us for this museum fundraiser. The museum is also co-hosting The Crossroads Genealogy Workshop on Aug. 28 and 29 with the Freeborn County Genealogical Society. The workshop will be held at the museum and is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008, which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage.

Pat Mulso

With September right around the corner we are busy preparing for our annual “Autumn in the Village” event which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 19 from noon to 4 p.m. Please mark your calendar for this special museum fundraiser that is a great family outing.

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Several years ago I met with the board of the Story Lady Doll and Toy Museum as they explored possible options for the collections in their care. The time came this summer that they found it necessary to close their museum location. While we are sad to see the Story Lady Doll and Toy Museum close, we are happy to be able to accept the donation of many of their dolls and toys and provide a safe place for their preservation. Not all items will be on exhibit immediately, but we will rotate exhibits as time permits to display as many as possible. I want to thank all of their board members and volunteers along with the volunteers from FCHM who made this transition as smooth as possible.

We are offering a “special” on our museum memberships for new members. Buy a 2011 FCHM membership now and get the rest of 2010 and all of 2011. Household memberships start at $25 and go to $1,000. Any amount donated above $25 is tax deductible. Please consider becoming a member and help preserve the history of Freeborn County and its people. We also have membership gift certificates available.

A very special thank you to the 84 volunteers that donated their time during a very busy and very hot fair week to make the week a success for the museum and enjoyable to over 1,200 visitors. We had many nice comments from the visitors including many out of town guests who commented on how clean and well organized our exhibits are and what a great complex we have here in Freeborn County. We also want to say a special thank you to the fair board for supporting our efforts to make the museum a free option for fair attendees.

I was asked to present the awards to the Freeborn County Senior Citizens of the Year at a presentation at the fair and was delighted and honored to present the awards to Dick Polley and Dorothy Simonsen. I know both of these fine volunteers from our community and admire their continued involvement with so many organizations within our county. This opportunity made me think back to my childhood and how I got involved in volunteering and with what organizations. When I was in 4th grade, myself and a friend organized an all school fundraiser for the March of Dimes. Each day, for a week, we went around to each of the classrooms in our elementary school and collected change from our fellow classmates If I remember correctly we raised around $60 which was a lot of money in 1964. In 5th grade I got involved with Red Cross as a Junior Red Cross Representative and attended monthly meetings and helped with fundraising projects in our school. That year I was also a neighborhood volunteer for the American for the American Heart Association. This was very important to me as my Dad was having many heart attacks during this time period and I prayed that new treatments would be found to help my Dad.

I learned at a young age that it is more blessed to give than receive and I enjoyed helping others whether it was by volunteering through the organizations mentioned or just lending a helping hand to a friend or neighbor, it was just the right thing to do. I wonder sometimes whether our young people today are learning these ideals, and then I look around and see that through 4-H, Scouting and other organizations we have some fine young people growing up in our community. Let’s concentrate on these good things in our community and preserve that history for future generations!

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