Museum Society Annual Meeting Report

The Union County Museum Society, the non-profit, volunteer organization that owns and operates the Union County Museum, met for their annual meeting Friday, October 10, 2014. During the meeting, President Sharon Hohstadt introduced the board members and gave a short report on the just completed season. Highlights included fixing the roof of the bank building, which was damaged by wind and rain late in 2013, replacing the roof on the west end of the Little White Church, projects completed as a result of the generosity of members and an infusion of lodging tax funds from Union County. Also mentioned were exhibit projects and hosting a successful summer concert in the courtyard in July. The visitor count for the season was 850, with 22% of the visitors coming from out of state, with 28 states represented and several foreign countries.

The 2015 budget was approved by vote of the membership present. She then presented the slate of board members, which was also approved. Re-elected for another term were Carolyn Young and Austin Saunders.  Also serving on the board are Blanche Kohler, the museum curator, Neva Smith, Richard Hohstadt, Linda Bond, Pat Miller, Merle Miller, John Sheehy, Connie DiGiovanni and Janet Dodson.

During the meeting, attendees were asked to fill out surveys to provide feedback for the board to consider at their retreat the next day. The survey asked people to identify concerns and suggestions related to:

• Organization (board, volunteer, budget, meetings)
• Facilities (building and grounds)
• Marketing (promotion, events, outreach)
• Preservation (collections, exhibits)

 Comments collected from the audience included a compliment on the music event, which was a good venue to engage the community in the museum, and a question concerning how much participation local schools have in the museum. 

Guest Speaker, Walt Brookshire, local pharmacist, spoke about his involvement with historic preservation of Union’s commercial district, and gave an interesting history of pharmacy in the United States, a history of drug stores in Union and the surrounding area, and exhibited old tools of the trade.

Individuals interested in serving on the Board of Directors are encouraged to attend board meetings, host and otherwise become familiar with museum operations and to express their interest to the president. Board member responsibilities range from hosting to recruiting, training and scheduling volunteers, through building maintenance, budgeting and bookkeeping, archiving and accessioning, creating exhibits, marketing and fund raising. It is clear, running a museum of this quality requires many activities and a myriad of skills. The busy board welcomes additional help. People interested in getting involved in any aspect are encouraged to contact Linda Bond, 541-910.8263 or jefflindabond@gmail.com.

Help the Union County Museum preserve and present the history of Union County and the surrounding area. Join the Union County Museum Society; membership fees start at just $10 a year! Become a volunteer – there are all kinds of volunteer activities in addition to hosting. There is certain to be one that suits your interests and skills.

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