The Future of the Friends is in Your Hands
I'll get right to the point first, and then elaborate afterwards: My term as President of the Executive Board of the Friends of Pennypacker Mills is up for renewal this year. I do not plan to run again. Currently, there is no one in line to take my place.
In addition, our former Vice-president, Carol Custer, passed away last year, so one of our at-large members stepped into that role. Our former Treasurer resigned in the fall at the age of 90, and the other of our at-large members was elected to that seat. Our current secretary has stated she will stay on. We are an all-volunteer board, down to four members, none under the age of 65, all having served in Board roles for multiple two-year terms. I personally have been on the Board since the beginning and have been President since 2016, while working a very busy full-time job.
The Friends was founded in 2010 and since that time has provided substantial support to Pennypacker Mills. Over the years, we have created awareness in the community about our wonderful historic property, paid for the acquisition of several collections of artifacts, funded restoration and conservation projects inside and outside the mansion, paid for a series of interpretive signs that are placed around the property, supplied needed equipment, acquired sponsors for the Civil War Event in pre-pandemic years and now the Revolutionary War Event, funded Porch Performances during and since the pandemic, sponsored the creation of a virtual house tour for visitors with mobility limitations, and probably other things I'm not remembering right now. Without our support, relying only on County funding and small donations from house tours, the site would not be able to be as wonderful a historical and cultural resource as it is today. Indeed, just after the Friends was formed, the site was in danger of being shut down. If the Board seats are not filled, the Friends will cease to exist, and the future of the site may again be in peril.
If you value what we do, your Board urgently needs some of you to go beyond paying dues and volunteer some of your time and talents to helping our organization. In general, it is not a large time commitment; the Board meets once a month for an hour. Currently, those meetings take place on Saturday mornings (because I work full-time), but that can be changed to suit different schedules. Aside from that, we have a presence at some of the events run by the Site. The one thing that does take some time and effort is the annual Craft Marketplace. In addition to being President, I took over that role when Carol Custer passed away. It essentially involves record-keeping in Excel, some mass emails, drawing up the site map of vendor locations for the day, setup during the week beforehand, and being there on the day. Ideally, someone would step up to run for the President position, and another would run for an at-large seat with an eye to organizing the Craft Marketplace.
In general, my pleas for help have gone largely unanswered. I hope that will not be true this time.