Pioneers Museum staff discusses state of the museum
FROM LEFT: Lois DuBois, William DuBois and Marscia Menvielle talk about the minutes as they have lunch during the 85th annual membership meeting of the Imperial County Historical Society at the Pioneers Museum in Imperial on Sunday. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / April 7, 2013)
The historical society was formed in 1928 with the goal of preserving the history of the Imperial Valley’s settlers. The museum marks its 20th anniversary in its present location this year, said Lynn Housouer, chief executive officer of the Imperial County Historical Society. The museum is located across the street from Imperial Valley College in Imperial.
The museum relies on volunteers offering their skills and services in addition to financial donations. Museum President Sharon Housouer thanked the museum’s many volunteers and put the amount of work in perspective.
“This year we logged approximately 5,000 volunteer hours,” Sharon Housouer said.
She said more than 2,000 visitors passed through the museum’s doors from February 2012 to date.
The most significant change at the museum may be its new internship program.
The position is geared for individuals interested in museum work, Sharon Housouer said to the historical society members.
“The intern we have with us right now is a college graduate. He’s doing an excellent job,” she said.
“We pay him with funds we raise throughout the year,” she added.
Museum treasurer Don Glud briefly discussed the museum’s finances.
Total income and donations for 2012 were $167,718.34, according to a profit and loss statement. Total general expenses for the same period were 150,891.65, leaving the museum with about $17,000 in excess funds, Glud said.
“One thing that is down this year is donations,” he said. However, “when we do have special events, like special needs like the roof, people come across and do give lots of money…we appreciate that,” he added.
Curator Leanne Rutherford compared the museum’s mission to Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer whose performance of the song “I Dreamed a Dream” on the television show “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009 went viral on the Internet.
“This is our dream,” Rutherford said.
Speaking after the meeting, Rutherford confirmed that the museum needs two additional directors to fill its slate of officers and directors.
Vice President Jurg Heuberger delivered a brief building report.
The Holly Sugar sign should be installed shortly, he said. And Imperial Valley College is to provide the museum with high-speed Internet access.
Before the meeting concluded, Marscia Menvielle, 99, was recognized as the oldest member in attendance. She was born in Dixieland in 1914, said her son, Robert Menvielle.
Staff Writer Antoine Abou-Diwan can be reached at 760-337-3454 or firstname.lastname@example.org