Most people are unaware of those who work behind the scenes to keep museums and other non-profits operating. So often these stalwart helpers are unpaid volunteers who are dedicated to the mission of the organization.
The Old Fort Steuben Project has had many such supporters over the years who have offered time, talent, and treasure to help us operate and grow. Some have been with us for over 30 years!
But as with everything in life, things change and many of our friends have had to step away from active participation.
We recently accepted the retirement of three members of the Board of Trustees. The Board of the Old Fort Steuben Project oversees the administration of the Fort and the Visitor Center, making sure we stay focused on our mission and that we are responsible stewards of the funds that are donated to us. They are a committed group of men and women who we rely upon for guidance.
Gloria Renda, a retired school librarian, has been active at the Fort and in many other educational programs for years, including the Academy of Lifelong Learning and as a founder of the Pleasant Hill School House Museum. Gloria was always available to help – whether it was pricing items for the Fort Steuben Yard Sale or stuffing envelopes for membership mailings. Now in her 90s, she is taking a well-deserved rest.
Keith Murdock, retired from Trinity Health System, has been a member of the board for many years as the organization assumed responsibility for the City of Murals. A well-known face and voice in the area, Keith loves history and music and faithfully advised us over the years as well as assisted in fundraising. He is taking more time now to enjoy his family and favorite outdoor activities.
Our longest serving member who is moving to another city is Andy Celestin. Andy took up wood crafting as a hobby and used his skills to build beds, cabinets, and tables for many of the buildings in the Fort. He is the creator of the beautiful reception counter in the Visitor Center. He dressed as a civilian of 18th century America and gave tours and presentations, both at the Fort, in Steubenville, and as far away as the Carolinas. He was a fixture at the Fort festival for years, demonstrating his skill with period tools. From spoons to shelves, his handiwork can be seen throughout Historic Fort Steuben. Andy has been a wonderful ambassador for the Fort and will be greatly missed.
We wish these talented and loyal friends all the best as they begin a new adventure in their lives.