The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) recognized 23 individuals for their contributions of time, talent, and expertise in 2022 at a Volunteer of the Year Ceremony, held on Saturday, April 15 at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.
In addition, one honoree received the Outstanding Service Award for long-term volunteer participation and exceptional dedication in memoriam.
All recognized volunteers received a complimentary Family Membership to the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation.
Since its beginning more than a century ago, PHMC has depended on citizen volunteers to work in partnership with its dedicated paid staff to carry out the preservation and interpretation programs of the agency. Each spring for more than 40 years, commission leadership have gathered with volunteers to say thanks and honor exceptional service.
“Our volunteers are integral to the success of our historic sites and museums,” said PHMC Executive Director Andrea Lowery. “They bring a passion for history, a strong connection to community, and a desire to welcome all who visit to learn more about our shared heritage.”
Each of the historic sites and museums on the Pennsylvania Trails of History are invited to designate a Volunteer of the Year based on service in the preceding calendar year.
Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for 2022 are:
Chester Kulesa - Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces Associates, Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Mario Lerario - Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates, Brandywine Battlefield Park
Jim Comunale - Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society, Bushy Run Battlefield
Lynn Otto - Friends of Conrad Weiser Homestead, Conrad Weiser Homestead
Dan Snyder - Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace, Cornwall Iron Furnace
Faith Mealy and Amber Hannold - Friends of Drake Well Inc., Drake Well Museum and Park
Matthew Gaydos - Eckley Miners’ Village Associates, Eckley Miners’ Village
Douglas Gehr - Ephrata Cloister Associates, Ephrata Cloister
Gayle Chojnacki - Flagship Niagara League, Erie Maritime Museum and US Brig Niagara
Kevin Horan - Friends of Graeme Park, Graeme Park
Phil Williams - Friends of Hope Lodge, Hope Lodge
Micheal McWilliams - The Friends of Joseph Priestley House, Joseph Priestley House
Linda Schock - Landis Valley Associates, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Joyce Patterson - Friends of Old Economy Village, Old Economy Village
Douglas Lehnen - The Pennsbury Society, Pennsbury Manor
Janifer and John Halter - Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates, Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Simon Cressman - Friends of the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Pennsylvania Military Museum
Stephen Jacobs - Friends of the Railroad Museum, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Ron Hillegas - Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County, Somerset Historical Center
Alice Herncane - The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Outstanding Service Award
Nancy Hetrick (1944-2022)
Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates (PALMA), Pennsylvania Lumber Museum