NEGAUNEE – There were exclamations as the ladies looked at the photographs and newspaper clippings in front of them.
“There’s Olivia in that photo… I remember that day… Look, there’s me.”
What the ladies – Catherine Kunnari, Shirley Tyni and Gail Mahan – at the Negaunee Senior Center were looking at Tuesday were items the center will be using to preserve its memories in the form of scrapbooks.
Volunteers are needed for the project, said Kristy Basolo, center director.
“We deal with folks down here that know so much about the history of the area, and that is always of interest to everyone – young and old,” Basolo said. “So we are motivated by that to preserve our own history, be it newspaper clippings of things that have gone on down at the center, photos of our trips and dances or flyers or programs from our bigger events.
“It’s important to us to remember the people who have touched our lives at the center.”
The items have been gathered and saved during the past few years, she said.
“We keep meaning to get to the scrapbooks and photo books, but as we get busier and busier with new events and a small staff, it has just fallen on the back burner,” Basolo said. “It would be wonderful if some talented volunteers wanted to work on the project so that our patrons could enjoy a trip down memory lane.”
Some of the photos from past years already are in photo albums, but Basolo is hoping that the folks in the photos can be identified. And with the growing interest in scrapbooking, she hoping the collected newspaper stories can be saved in a beautiful manner.
“We had some scrapbooking materials donated, so there would be no cost to the volunteers,” Basolo explained. “We also have hundreds of photos stored electronically, and it would great if someone could go through and pick the best ones to get printed for photo and scrapbooks.
“We have a donor who is willing to pay to have the photos printed when we get to that point.”
Basolo said that it’s important the scrapbooking take place is the near future.
“My fear is the longer this project waits, the harder it will be to remember the names that go with the faces in the photos,” she said. “And identifying and remembering our patrons throughout the years is a wonderful way to honor them. As it is, we have five-plus years worth of memories that are unpreserved.”
The center, which is open five days a week but also often has weekend events for seniors, has become a true gathering place for the community. And the scrapbooks could become a focal point for keeping track of what goes on at the center from year to year.
“For many of our patrons who come here socially, this is their world,” Basolo said. “Their friends are here and they make new friends here. We’d like to get to the point where we take a photo of each group – painting class, aerobics ladies, cribbage players, etc. – once a year to put in a photo book to help us remember.”
Anyone who enjoys scrapbooking is invited to become part of the project. To volunteer, a person can call to make an appointment with Basolo at 475-6266.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.