To help celebrate October as Arts and Humanities Month, and to kick-off the call for nominations for this year's OMA awards, we'll be highlighting our 2020 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. We are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights during Arts and Humanities Month to help champion the amazing projects, programs and professionals that make Ohio's museum community strong.
The Awards of Achievement are presented to reflect the outstanding quality and caliber of work by Ohio museums and their professionals in two categories: Institutional Achievement Awards and Individual Achievement Awards.
Nominations for these awards are incredibly detailed. This in-depth process helps to illustrate how these institutions and individuals have gone “above and beyond” the normal call of duty to support their institution, serve their public and advance the cause of the museum community.
Each year, the review panel is overwhelmed by the outstanding projects, innovative programming and dedication to our field as exhibited in each of the institutional and individual nominations. Congratulations again to each of our 2020 award winners!
Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2020 award for the Betty Bryan Volunteer of the Year.
Jeanne Griffin first became a member of the Mohican Historical Society around 2003, when her husband began attending the museum’s educational programs. Though the two enjoyed the events, Jeanne never considered volunteering until after the passing of her husband many years later.
Jeanne decided she needed something to do to keep her busy, and volunteered to welcome guests to the museum “once or twice.” Shortly after she started, Jeanne realized that the museum wasn’t just a place for old things that could help her fill her time—but that its true power was in connecting generations and communities.
She quickly began volunteering to work at the museum more often, at nearly a full-time basis, averaging 20-30 hours a week but certainly more if a project requires. At 95 years old, she is frequently referred to as the hardest working volunteer at the museum, always quick to lend a hand giving tours, performing manual labor, driving over 30 miles to transport items and supplies – Jeanne even volunteered as the custodian, cleaning toilets and mopping floors for eight months while the museum searched for a replacement.
Though Jeanne’s work ethic and dedication are the embodiment of a model volunteer, most importantly, she is a friend to everyone she meets. And in return, those who meet her become ardent supporters of the museum. Jeanne isn’t just an inspiration to other volunteers, she is also the heart of the museum.
As our reviewers noted, “Jeanne Griffin is a tremendous asset to the Mohican Historical Society and Cleo Redd Fisher Museum, demonstrating an overwhelming impact on the organization and the community, and inspiring dozens of new members and volunteers to help preserve local history. Whether assembling a task force, rooting out water damage, creating an object inventory, securing additional volunteers, or ensuring a beloved whistle sounds again, Jeanne personifies the role of museums as centers for lifelong learning.”
Do you know a museum volunteer that embodies the mission of their museum and goes "above and beyond" to serve their organization and community? Be sure to nominate them for the 2021 award for Betty Bryan Volunteer of the Year! Learn more here.
One of the fun features of OMA's 2021 Virtual Awards Ceremony was being able to recognize our honorees "accepting" their award via video message. See below for Jeanne Griffin's award acceptance video.