This is National Volunteer Week, and a good time to thank all of our volunteers for the great work that they do. The Vernon County Historical Society is powered by volunteers, who do a little (and sometimes a lot!) of everything.

If you take a guided museum tour, or attend a genealogy class, or come to a monthly program, then you are benefiting from the work of our volunteer guides, teachers, and speakers. If you look at obituaries or family files in the research room, then you are using the work of the office volunteers. If you enjoy refreshments at one of our events, then you are eating food prepared and served by volunteers.

Maybe you know a child who has spent a day at the Foreaker School, or taken a tour of the Sherry-Butt House – these programs are run by volunteers. Or maybe you have enjoyed the music at our annual Fourth of July social – the musicians all volunteer their time.

Or maybe you have attended our annual Cemetery Walk – all the actors are volunteers. We extend appreciation to all of the many volunteers who make the Vernon County Historical Society possible.

You too can be a part of the meaningful work of preserving and promoting our shared history by volunteering for the historical society. We are always looking for willing volunteers who can research historical topics, organize files, clean floors, serve on committees, help with special events, staff the booth at the county fair, or any number of other opportunities. If you are interested in helping to connect the past and the present, contact Kristen or Carol at the museum at 637-7396, or email museum@vernoncountyhistory.org.

The flooding of last August and September is still fresh in the minds of everyone who lives in Vernon County. Those who were most directly affected all have stories to tell, and the Driftless Writing Center is now collecting those stories, plus stories from other recent floods.

The Center has created a project called “Stories From the Flood,” which has its own website: wisconsinfloodstories.org. You can write down your flood story on paper, or you can tell your story to an interviewer, who will record you talking.

These stories will be collected at “Story Collection Sessions” held at local public libraries. Sessions will be held at the Coon Valley library on Thursday, April 11, 6-8 p.m., and Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to noon. Sessions will be held at the Viroqua library on Friday, April 12, 2-4 p.m., and Tuesday, April 16, 6-8 p.m. And sessions will be held at the La Farge library on Monday, April 22, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Tuesday, April 23, 6-8 p.m. Additional sessions will be scheduled in the future.

Your stories matter. Help make them a part of the recorded history of our region, so that people today and in the future can learn from them.

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