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Thank You Volunteers! - Feat. Berniece Luthy

As we enter this next season of thankfulness, we at the Plainsman Museum would like to take the time to give thanks for our many volunteers who help make our mission possible! To help give a further glimpse into the work of our volunteers, we have asked several of our regular volunteers to answer some questions about what they do here at the museum, and will be featuring them in a series of blog posts for the next few weeks. Today's featured volunteer is Berniece Luthy!

Berniece Luthy

Q: When did you first visit the Plainsman Museum?

"I probably visited sometime during my kids' high school years."

Q: When did you start volunteering here?

"I started coming as a volunteer when I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors around 2008, during a transition time between directors. At that point I knew about the museum, but never took the time to come and see what it was really all about. We had no one to keep the museum open, so each of us was asked to volunteer several times during the week to help keep the museum running. I usually volunteered for weekends, because at that point I was still working three days a week. My husband came with me on weekends, and we did it together. After he passed away in 2014, I became a regular volunteer every week, as I needed to get out of the house to interact with others. After working a month, I knew this was the perfect fit for me! Some great friendships have developed from this experience!"

Q: What work do you usually do as a volunteer at the museum? What's your favorite thing to do as a volunteer?

"Well, my main job is to catalogue all the pictures that come into the museum. I put catalogue numbers on them if they don't already have numbers, and then they are entered into a computer. When I originally started, this was just done on a piece of paper, but now it makes it easier to look up information. So, each picture is put in a file, and the file is put in box. This way it makes it much easier for anybody doing research to find this information. My favorite thing to do is to greet visitors and welcome them to the museum. I collect admission fees and then I talk to them in the rotunda, and explain more about our museum artifacts, displays, and the beauty of our rotunda. It's always a thrill to meet people from all across the country, and hear the remarks about how neatly things are displayed! They refer to it as 'a five star museum!' These remarks usually come from people from all across the U.S."

Q: What skills have you applied while volunteering at the museum? Were there any previous job or life experiences that you were able to draw from to do your work here?

"In my area I've worked hard to get the things organized, and make things easy for staff and people that come in to do research to find the pictures that they're looking for. I have scrapbooked ever since my grandsons were babies, and I guess that's why I am so interested in pictures. I'm very much a stickler about having everything in chronological order, which I think works best. I also worked for twenty-and-a-half years for the Aurora Co-op at the Service Center, where I was a receptionist, a bookkeeper, a salesperson, I stocked shelves and took calls coming into the station. I became at ease dealing with the public and learning about each customer over the years, which makes a perfect fit for a receptionist here I think!"

Q: Tell us about one of your favorite artifacts or exhibits here at the museum!

"Actually, I think everything is kind of a favorite, because everything is so well displayed! I feel it's kind of hard to choose just one. I myself have donated some things from when I was a child, and also my late husband's army uniforms and his military police items. Right now the new Ag Building houses a John Deere model-H tractor that was donated per my husband. He wanted it to be in the museum, so it's neat to have it there to look at for our family."

Q: What's been one of your fondest memories of your time here at the museum?

"I guess seeing all the neat pictures and artifacts that have been donated, and working with all of the volunteers and directors. And of course I love to bake and bring treats for all the volunteers! Also, I've been chairman for our annual fundraiser, which has been held usually the first Monday of February for the last thirteen years. It's so rewarding to see all who come together on that evening, to see new faces each year, and to see the amount of money raised for our museum!"


Thank you Berniece for all you do!



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