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2/13/2013 2:18:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Photo submitted by Pam Wonn
Eloise Day, left, museum volunteer, is explaining the museum tour to visitor Dan Dean. In the background is Cashmere Museum Board President Tom Baldwin.
Cashmere Museum needs volunteers
Kacie Thrift
Staff Writer

Recently, the Cashmere Museum Board decided they are not going to combine Apple Days with the Cashmere Chamber's Founders' Days this year, therefore the same issues remain. One of those issues is the need for volunteers.

Apple Days is not the only time the museum needs volunteers. According to Pam Wonn, co-president of Friends of Old Mission, the museum is looking for help year round.

Over 12,000 visitors go through the Cashmere Museum every year, from every state in the nation and all continents. Wonn said tourists delight in seeing the American Indian relics in the Carey Wing, the 9,000-year-old artifacts and implements in the Congdon Wing, observing the dioramas and natural history displays, and looking into the 20 original cabins in the Pioneer Village,

The museum, a non-profit organization, relies heavily on the pool of volunteers to welcome and register guests at the reception desk. Without volunteers, the museum would not be able to keep the museum open for as many hours as they do. The museum is open March 1 to Oct. 31. Volunteers help with keeping the museum open every day during these months, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Eloise Day, a Cashmere resident, has been volunteering with the museum since she was 18-years-old.

"It's an enjoyable way to spend a few hours and gratifying to know that we, as volunteers, are making a difference," Day said.

Wonn said volunteers are able to sign up for a 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. shift or the 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. shift every day of the week, including weekends. You can host as partners with someone or do it solo. Wonn said it is an opportunity to meet interesting and friendly people from all over the world.

"It's always fun to play the 'do you know so and so' game when you greet guests from a town where you know people who live there," said volunteer hostess Marion Thies (from Dryden). "It's amazing how many times they do know the person I mention."

Volunteers can offer as much time as they want. Wonn said many hosts and hostesses volunteer one shift a month, some work twice a month, and some people who volunteer work a full day every week. Residents from all over Chelan County volunteer their time at the Cashmere Museum. Volunteer Mickee Crowe, from East Wenatchee, said she enjoys answering visitors' questions about where else to visit in the area and where they might have lunch while in Cashmere.

The museum is always welcoming new volunteers to help keep the museum open everyday. The staff at the museum are offering an orientation and training for those interested in volunteering their time on Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m. at the museum. Wonn said volunteers have a lot of options as to what they can volunteer their time for at the museum. There are numerous other volunteer opportunities in addition to greeting people at the reception desk.

The museum's mission statement is to collect and preserve the history, both natural and human, of the local region for education, research, and public viewing in an informative, exciting and secure manner. Since the museum is funded through donations, low admission fees, and grants, they don't have the money to hire a fulltime staff. Wonn said the museum needs help from its surrounding community members to stay open to the public.

Some current volunteers believe they are getting a lot in return by volunteering their time at the museum.

"I think I gain more from volunteering than the museum does. I always feel uplifted when I've met interesting folks from somewhere far off," said volunteer Bonnie Wandling, Entiat.

Another host for the museum, Judy Richardson, said volunteering is her way of giving back to the community and guaranteeing others will be able to appreciate the marvelous collections within the museum's walls.

If you are interested in volunteering your time as a host or in other ways, contact the museum at 782-3230 or pioneer49@frontier.com.

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 782-3781 or reporter@cashmerevalleyrecord.com.



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