The Grafton Historical Society’s Volunteer of the Year award will be presented to two dedicated volunteers on Friday, May 5th at our Annual meeting at the Post Office Pub. Join us to celebrate their commitment and dedication to keeping Grafton’s history alive for future generations. Call 508-839-0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Kristen Remillard: When we met, she was an acting scout leader and made a request for us to share our knowledge of the history of Grafton Common. I developed a scavenger hunt for the scouts and leaders to find clues to identify each building, and the fun began, but that wasn’t the end of their research, she set up a visit to the museum. I was very happy to give them a tour and share some stories. Other troops followed her lead and soon we were doing more of what we love best, sharing our town’s rich history. Kristen joined our board a few years later and we saw her eagerness to be involved in something that would promote a unified community spirit. Observing and listening she soon found there were lots of places for her to help. Her knowledge of tech played a huge part in the success of last year’s Annual Antique show. You need constant updates to social media to have an impact and not everyone does that well, Kricky is a wiz at it. On the big day, Kristen was very busy. She filled in for many different people so they could take a break, there were also many errands and small details that she would observe and then volunteer for. You never had to ask, she saw the need and took action. Getting to know more about her and seeing the ease at which she shares her thoughts in words along with actions, I realized she could be the perfect candidate to represent the society by writing short stories for The Community Advocate. She didn’t hesitate and has done some wonderfully informative articles. A part of our First Friday tea, Kristen is there to help with all the details, and she learned quickly how easy it was to just sit and converse with ladies of all ages. She and daughter Chloe took charge of an event for young children at Grafton Celebrates the Holidays in 2019 and this year assisted with the Holiday Tea that has become a favorite.
Pam Hollander: You would think that as Chair of the Education Department at Worcester State University, time to engage with outside commitments could be limited, but since 2018 she has volunteered to help with our yearly programs, looking for a way to engage the youth of our community. I first met Pam at our History in Bloom 2017, when she and her daughter came to see our wonderful collection of wedding gowns. Upon learning we were moving, she and Megan Webber helped me pack the museum. Pam understands the value of retaining our town’s history. For our 2018 – 2019 events schedule, she came up with an idea to invite a Steam Punk group to come to the museum. What a fun night it was. We were able to clear a space, allowing tables to be set in an atmosphere similar to a small nightclub. Our presenters were dressed in their finest Stem Punk as well as our many guests. Another program highlighted Grafton’s diverse culture by engaging the Cultural Club at Grafton High School. I remember the first meeting with the students who had no understanding of the work it takes to curate and present items with enough detail to make an enjoyable experience for the viewer. Pam set up several additional meetings and on April 27th & 28th the museum hosted several students as they proudly offered a peek into each one’s culture, not only with a display, but some traditional food from each participant. The event, although not as well attended as we had hoped, led the kids to request a second chance to do that program again the following year, but due to Covid protocol it never happened. She has participated in third grade enrichment for the past few years covering subjects like our shoe industry that made Grafton the second largest shoe manufacturer in Worcester County in the mid 1800’s, and the textile mills that brought workers from Europe to our little town. Pam has helped organize many other programs, like this year’s Retro Fashion program called, “Pretty Powerful: 100 Years of Voting & Style. Our guests were encouraged to participate by wearing clothing that could tell their own personal history through style. Everyone attending got a chance to share a little piece of their past. What fun! Pam has proven that history does not have to be boring!