About 90 volunteers attended the annual Volunteer Appreciation Lunch Dec. 6 at Park Place in Crystal Lake. The event featured great food from Three Chefs Catering, a stunning program from the Crystal Lake Central Madrigal Choir and the announcement of Arlyn Booth as the 2017 Volunteer of the Year.
The following is the introduction and thank you to MCHS volunteers delivered by Administrator Kurt Begalka:
As most of you know, my name is Kurt Begalka and I am administrator of the McHenry County Historical Society & Museum; your historical society and museum.
We are, all of us in this room, like family. We might grouse about working in a hot Schuette building or a downright chilly Gannon cabin. We might have to walk a little farther than we’d like because there are no parking spaces or take another shift in an emergency.
We may even disagree once in awhile on the right approach or process. But when the going gets tough, staff knows that we can count on you to step up and help. And that – I can’t stress this enough – is critical to our success as a nonprofit organization.
Our staff and board simply would not be able to accomplish much of what we do, without your help. Volunteers provide the power that keeps the joint jumpin’. You help us transform small ideas into programming staples – be they members’ exhibits, appraisal events or car shows.
You serve as docents, teachers, bus drivers, research assistants, muscle crews, appraisers, concierges, auction assistants, gardeners, cookie bakers, magicians, musicians, painters, set builders and board members. You do a lot of the behind-the-scenes legwork instrumental in making this growing operation function as smoothly as it does. And you are essential as MCHS positions itself moving forward.
On behalf of the staff, board directors and the citizens of McHenry County: Thank you. A thousand times, thank you.
Before I turn the mic over to Membership & Volunteer Coordinator Kim Ortega, who is largely responsible for organizing today’s program, I’d like to share a few of the more pertinent quotes I discovered about volunteerism.
Winston Churchill noted:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Mahatma Gandhi said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
But my favorite was by an Australian politician named Elizabeth Jean Andrew. “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time,” she said. “They just have the heart.”