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Volunteers play important role in community

POSTED: March 16, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Anyone who doubts the importance of volunteers to rural communities should have attended the annual meeting several weeks ago of the Ellsworth County Historical Society.
According to society board member Janice Essick of Kanopolis:
Volunteers donated 365 hours of time in 2011 — and that’s just the hours they reported. Essick estimates historical society supporters donated another 312 hours attending board meetings and many more hours helping with the soup suppers and other fundraisers necessary to keep everything running.
Those volunteer hours translate into several thousand dollars a year the society saves, even by the most conservative of estimates.
Few organizations in Ellsworth County are able to operate without volunteers. Proof of that statement is found elsewhere on this page, in a letter from Lu Adams, president of the Ellsworth County Medical Center Auxiliary. The auxiliary has decided to rethink its activities — better to suit its reduced number of active members.
The historical society receives a yearly allotment from the county, but it’s nowhere near enough to maintain the many society properties, including buildings original to historic Fort Harker.
The historical society and its directors are masters at doing a lot with a little. Their soup suppers and hamburger feeds helped pay off the commanding officer’s quarters at Kanopolis. Directors made their final payment this past November.
Essick said the historical society also owes a debt of gratitude to “the people who come out and support us. We are so blessed to have the following we do.”
The society’s work is important. Preservation of our past shows us where we’ve been and offers us a blueprint to the future.
The society’s next fundraiser — a spaghetti supper — will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Commanding Officer’s Quarters. Good food and helping to preserve Ellsworth County’s special history. That’s a winner all the way around. 

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