On May 22 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. we will host an open house to honor our two Volunteers of the Year, Devyn Gardner and Debby Larsen!
Student Volunteer of the Year
This year’s youth volunteer of the year, Devyn Gardner, has been contributing to the Northfield Historical Society’s mission since she was in seventh grade. She entered as a member of the Junior Curator program, went on to serve as a tour guide, helped edit “Caught In A Storm” and most recently collected and organized photos for the “History of Northfield,” a textbook written for elementary students.
Earl Weinmann, director of the NHS Education Program, calls her his “go-to girl.”
Competent and conscientious, he can count on her to follow through and get things done.
Now looking back as she finishes a stellar high school career, Devyn said it was a Civil War road trip with her Dad that laid the foundation for her interest in history. She was in sixth grade when, over a spring break, they visited a number of key Civil War battlegrounds and presidential libraries. Then, a class with Mr. Weinmann opened the door to NHS, and Devyn found a place to cultivate her new passion.
Her six years with NHS has given her an appreciation for local history, the commonplace as well as the dramatic.
“I’ve just really gotten an appreciation for even small pieces of history,” she said.
Devyn is the daughter of Ron and Becky Gardner. She plans on attending college next year — campus still to be determined — and explore a degree in economics and international relations.
Adult Volunteer of the Year
For Debby Larsen, this year’s Adult Volunteer of the Year, volunteering at Northfield Historical Society has been a journey of discovery.
During her six years as a board member (president in 2009), Museum Store volunteer, and all-star seat filler at most NHS events and programs, she has learned how important history is to the Northfield community.
“Northfield has a lot of caring individuals and the history of the Northfield area is important to a lot of people,” she said
Debby also has learned how broad the Northfield history story is. People are most familiar with the more dramatic chapters of our community’s history, but through her involvement in NHS, Debby has been impressed with the more ordinary, but sill interesting, stories.
“There’s much more out there than what I knew about when I started,” she said.
A senior executive administrator and document control specialist at Multek, Debby was invited into the NHS orbit through her participation in the sesquicentennial celebration. When asked to join the board, she said: “yes.” Now she is one of NHS’s biggest promoters.
“I am grateful we have NHS to keep our history alive,” she said.