Dunkirk Historical Society holds membership meeting

The Board of the Dunkirk Historical Society recently held a membership meeting at the museum on Washington Avenue in Dunkirk. The board updated the membership about what is happening at the museum and the Brooks Locomotive exhibit at the Chautauqua County Fair-grounds.

Board secretary Edward Kolodziej welcomed members and introduced the Board of Directors for 2014: Diane Andrasik, Michele Bautista, Michael Civiletto, Ryan Corbett, Roy Davis, Walter Drag, Denise Griggs, Edward Kolodziej, Larry Perdue, Sharon Perdue and Harriet Tower.

Michael Civiletto, newly appointed president, introduced himself and the rest of the officers for 2014: Vice president for the Museum, Sharon Perdue; Vice president for Railroad Affairs, Davis, Secretary, Kolodziej and Treasurer, Drag.

The group honored Andrasik, outgoing president, for her commitment to the Dunkirk Historical Society. Kolodziej re-viewed her many accomplishments, achieved through her countless hours of service. Andrasik helped to organize and catalog the museum collection, stabilized finances with grants and an increase in memberships, maintained communication with other non-profits, worked with and visited other museums, helped to plan the Dunkirk Church Tour in 2012 and the Dunkirk House Tour in 2013, helped to plan a website for the museum and created an on-line publication, “The Beacon.” In addition Andrasik, with the assistance of Griggs, spent countless hours staffing the museum. Her six-year tenure as president has provided the organization with a brighter future by making it a more visible asset to the Dunkirk community. President Civiletto presented her with a commemorative gift to thank her for her many contributions to the Dunkirk Historical Society.

Upcoming events for the Historical Society for the year 2014 were discussed.

Board member Ryan Corbett said a “Cruise In” will be held in June. A flapjack breakfast fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Oct. 4 at Applebee’s on Vineyard Drive. Members are encouraged to attend and sell tickets.

Information on both fundraisers will be forthcoming.

Davis, Vice president for Railroad Affairs and current board member, updated the members on the railroad exhibit at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds. He recently raised $10,000 for restoration and painting of the Brooks Locomotive 444 to celebrate its centennial year in 2016.

Drag, the treasurer, updated the members about the financial outlook for the society. Finances have stabilized due to the increased funding by the city of Dunkirk and increased membership dues. Successful fundraisers have also added additional funds to the treasury.

Kolodziej spoke about establishing an endowment fund. These monies would secure the financial future of the museum by providing funds set aside to grow and provide future funding for a curator, maintenance of the museum and community educational programs.

Kolodziej also asked the members to update their memberships and their personal information. Sharon Perdue invited those present to explore volunteer opportunities as “Friends of the Museum,” which will be available to anyone who wishes to help maintain and staff the museum as well as the railroad exhibit.

The evening concluded with refreshments and tours of the collection.

The museum on Washington Avenue is open Mondays and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers are present to help with research and tours.

All community members are welcome to become contributing members and volunteers at the museum, giving their time and talent to strengthen the presence of the Dunkirk Historical Society in the Dunkirk community.