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Volunteer Recognition Awards 2016

(L-R): Erin McGough (Executive Director); Diane Hoyt; Christine Marohn; Bill Dahlgren; Christopher Sherman (Board President); second row, Deb Casagrande; Karen Bellinger Wehner.

At the Annual Meeting on February 7, 2017, a special group of volunteers were recognized for their exceptional contributions through the DRHS Volunteer Recognition Awards. In addition to the staff of the DRHS, hundreds of volunteers make our efforts possible. Volunteers transcribe diaries, make minor repairs on the houses, work as interns and summer tour guides, oversee rentals on our properties, provide food for events, work in the gardens and on the lands committee, publish books, supervise collections and acquisitions, run education programs, walking tours, and school tours, and even more keep the Ship’s Store functioning at events. There is something for everyone at the DRHS, and our volunteers make us so much richer than we would be otherwise. We are grateful every day for their contributions.

This year’s Volunteer Award recipients are:

Outgoing Board Member: David Corey

The DRHS recognizes the contributions and service of David Corey, outgoing Board Member and former President of the DRHS. David is an antique map enthusiast and donor to the DRHS, and participated in the digitization of archival materials at the Drew Archives. He was also the keynote speaker at the 2015 Back Roads Symposium, representing DRHS admirably.

David was elected to the Board in 2011 and served as Vice President of the Board before becoming President from 2014 to 2015. He has actively served in a variety of capacities: Properties Committee, Compensation Committee, Search Committee for the Interim Director and then for the permanent Executive Director. As President, David guided the DRHS through the distribution of two large estate bequests and the legal complications of several legal matters. He continues to be active on the Lands and Properties Committees.

David is kind, soft-spoken, even-tempered and extraordinarily intelligent; his interests are many, indicative of his curiosity and layered understanding of our world. We thank David for his partnership as Board President and as a Board Member. He will be greatly missed on the Board but we are glad to know that he will continue to be an active member of the DRHS.


Preservation of Museum Collections and Archives: Bill Dahlgren

Bill started with the DRHS several years ago to help with the installation of the Brewster archaeology exhibition. Painting cases, moving walls, working in the dusty barn, this volunteer has become indispensable when it comes to the hard work of not only exhibitions but many of our programs as well. His is a true volunteer spirit- needing little instruction, providing suggestions and ideas to make the DRHS a better place for visitors, and willing to do some of the most physically demanding of jobs. But we are very indebted to him and grateful for his help.

Education: Karen Bellinger Wehner

Karen took on a very specific outreach effort – researching and writing creative and fun treasure hunts for each of our three properites – the King Caesar House, Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. House and the Bradford House. These hunts were designed as part of the DRHS partnership with the regional non-profiit, South Shore Quests. As the only Duxbury properties featured in the Quest program, Karen’s work has provided an engaging and educational welcome to both our town and the DRHS. For this outreach effort, we thank her.

Activities: Christine Marohn

Christine is the very talented volunteer who brought Fanny Bradford Lane to life as the Finding Fanny character which was enjoyed by hundreds of people at King Caesar Christmas. This lovely depiction of a Victorian woman was hidden in each of the decorated rooms, and visitors were challenged to find her – sometimes not an easy task! Meant to be a children’s activity, we instead found that it held just as much appeal for the grown child in all of us, and adults alike giggled their way through the festivities.

Lands & Gardens: Diane Hoyt and Shirley Jenkins

This broad award category encompasses the work of the dozens of volunteers who help the DRHS maintain its commitment to its lands holdings, who keep our grounds beautiful, and who help to offset the large expenses associated with maintaining grounds like those held by the DRHS. This year’s award is offered to a pair of volunteers who have, for years  weeded, watered, pruned  maintained and cultivated a special place at the King Caesar House – the herb or kitchen garden. Both of them are stepping down this year, passing the reigns to a new set of volunteers, but their efforts will be remembered for many years to come.

Volunteer of the Year: Deb Casagrande

Occasionally there arises a special grade of volunteer, one who becomes so ingrained in the DRHS that sometimes we forget she is a volunteer and instead think of her as a staff person. Someone we can always count on, someone who embraces new challenges, someone who asks what more she can do to further the mission of the DRHS. This year, Deb was given a couple of interesting challenges. First, she accepted the inaugural position of Volunteer Chair, and was tasked with the challenge of helping, on a very personal one-to-one basis, each and every person at the DRHS find “their place” within our volunteer activities. This was in answer to a very specific need that we knew we needed to address: more than one person had given us feedback, stating that the DRHS needed to get to know individuals and embrace their talents – a monumental challenge in an organization of this size. This person, a dear friend, understood our desire to do this, and how hard it was for us. She has made the program her own, adding her special flair and enthusiasm to the task. Furthermore she was instrumental in the creation of the Volunteer Lounge at the Nathaniel Winsor Jr. House, donating furniture to make it a welcoming space. She also rose to the task of being a regular “on air” DRHS personality for all PAC-TV interviews … a task that she was nervous to take on, but did so with her enthusiasm and charm. She also now attends many committee meetings, decorates for Christmas and contributes many ideas to make the DRHS a welcoming place for all. When we asked, she offered her home to host a fundraising party for the Bradford House, our first fundraising effort, and an important one. We are ever grateful to Deb and her family for their support of the DRHS.


Congratulations to all the recipients. And thank you.