Positive museum progress shared at Historical Society banquet
By Lori Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
R.P. Smith of Custer County brought laughs to the crowd of approximately 55 people at the Chase County Historical Society annual banquet in Champion last Wednesday night.
Smith, a fourth-generation rancher, finds that humor and a firm faith in God are good tools to utilize, especially when life takes an unexpected turn. His stories and poetry created a picture of life on the ranch, as well as perspectives gained from sharing his talent in 16 states.
Historical Society President Charley Colton presided over the evening event, sharing positive happenings at the museum the past year.
The 17-week season, featuring a diversity of local collectors and artists, brought in 564 visitors including two school children’s groups from Bird City, Kan., and Perkins County. Next year’s schedule is already in progress and ideas are welcomed, he said.
Election of officers found President Charley Colton, Vice President Carol Maddux and Secretary Diann Schilke committing to another year of service. Jeannine Cox was elected to another three-year term as director. Others continuing their terms are Treasurer Neva Molzer and Directors Stan Cross and Becky Carman.
Elna Johnson represented Johnson Publications in presenting a bound copy of last year’s Wauneta Breeze 125th special edition to Colton for the museum. She emphasized the newspaper’s commitment to reporting today’s current events which become tomorrow’s history.
Tina Kitt of Wauneta oversaw the production of the edition with Sheri Hink-Wagner coordinating the advertising and other assistance.
Providing a museum highlight for the season was a collection of pictures of the Champion community, most taken by Edna Roberts and donated to the museum by Doris Baney. They sparked hours of storytelling and many of the pictures were identified to preserve history.
Volunteers made it possible to move some of the steel farm implements outside under the awning, opening up needed room in the exhibitor’s area. Colton credited Byron Hust for bringing his skid loader which made the project possible.
Native American artifacts were also moved to a new area, making them more visible and freeing up some walking space. The sidewalk project along the east building brought positive feedback, making it easier to get into the building.
Merril Humphreys was acknowledged for donating his time to build two new display cases for military uniforms that will be ready for next year. A new computer has been delivered and the research area will also be ready for next year.
A net balance of $39,392.95 was reported in the June 30 financial summary.
Kim Silvester provided pre-meal music entertainment.