Museum Awards Volunteers For Service

Old Independence Regional Museum is proud to announce the recipients of the Dennis Wright Award, the creation of a new annual volunteer award, and the conveyance of a Life Trustee.

Dr. Sharan Pittser and MaryAnn Marshall are the 2009 recipients of the Dennis Wright Award.    This annual award is named in honor of Dennis Wright, who was the first recipient in 1999, and recognizes a behind the scenes volunteer, or volunteers, who go way beyond the call of duty.   Nominations for this award are solicited from the museum’s volunteer corps and are confirmed by the museum’s board of trustees.  The award has become a tradition of engraved stone bookends from a local quarry.

Dr. Pittser has been a volunteer with the museum for several years.  She works in the archives helping to catalog artifacts in the museum’s collection.  This year she has taken on the role of Curatorial Assistant.  In this new position she is learning the ins and outs of not only cataloging but caring for the collections.  She has also worked many hours transcribing a collection of journals.  She often assists with research requests and is “always patient and helpful when a visitor or other volunteer needs help, even though she is very busy,” comments one of her fellow volunteers.  In addition to her “behind the scenes” work, Dr. Pittser also assists with special events and projects and can regularly be seen leading school tours.

Ms. Marshall can be found at the museum almost every Saturday and some Sundays, with the exception of tax season.    She spends the day working up a collection, which includes describing the artifacts or documents and then entering the information into the museum’s computer cataloging system.  In addition, she frequently donates artifacts to the museum’s collection and items to be used in museum exhibits.  “I see her coming and going in the archival area, and even though that is her main area, she also goes out of her way to help with special events, like decorating for the museum at Christmas, and even with the gift shop,” stated another volunteer.

Past recipients are:

1999. Dennis Wright
2000. Barbara Stevenson
2001. Nona Floyd
2002. Janet Grey
2003. Anna Parks
2004. Polly Livingston
2005. Archival Volunteers:  Linda Wann, Judy Purnell, Marilynn Chlebak, George Pouliot, Bertha Perkey, Mildred Thomas
2006. Jimmy Hughes
2007. Ann Rhodes
2008. Frances Mathis

The Board of Directors and staff of Old Independence Regional Museum are pleased to announce the creation of a new award for volunteers in 2009.  This award will annually recognize a volunteer who shows an outstanding dedication of time and service to the Museum.  This new award will be named in honor of its first recipient – Twyla Gill Wright.

Mrs. Wright has given over 15 years to the development, building, operations, and expansion of Old Independence Regional Museum.  She has worked tirelessly and has devoted THOUSANDS of hours for the success of this institution.    She served as President of the Founding Board and now continues to serve the museum as Curator, a full time volunteer staff position.   She serves the museum in many other capacities as well some of which include:  designs and creates in house exhibits, maintains the museum’s cataloging system, trains the archival volunteers, chairs the Collections, Exhibits and Programs Committee, and chairs the Fundraising Committee.

In addition to the honor of an award being created in her name, the board of trustees of Old Independence Regional Museum is conveying the title of Life Trustee to Ms. Wright.  This title was established in recognition of retired governing board members who have excelled in their service to the museum.  Recipients of this title have served the museum in a trustee capacity for a minimum of six years and have distinguished themselves through service to the museum.

Other Life Trustees are Ronald Spillers and Hail Bryant.

If you are interested in learning more about joining our wonderful group of volunteers at Old Independence Regional Museum, please contact Amanda Nikkel, Education/Volunteer Coordinator.

Old Independence Regional Museum, located at 380 South Ninth Street in Batesville, is a private, non-profit institution.  It serves 12-counties in north central Arkansas.   The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sundays.  Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children.  Call 870-793-2121 for more information.