Job Corps students save the day

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Dennis L. Clay/courtesy photo The Columbia Basin Job Corps students participating in Pioneer Day at the Grant County Museum in Ephrata were: Left to right, Fernando Giangiulio Jr., Jelena Florence, Samantha Fosdick, Ryan Hill, Justy Zapata, Anthony Hecht, Christian Jay, Skyla Dry, Ruby Kennedy, Marina Avara Sanchez, Clarissa Salamanca, Tyler Moser. Pat Whitham, museum director, and Patty Thornton, assistant museum director are in front of the students, are seen at the left.

Last Saturday was Pioneer Day at the Grant County Historical Society and Museum. The museum has a campus of 38 buildings. When we say 38 buildings, we are talking about 38 separate spaces.

For example: The doctor’s office is connected to the pharmacy and there are two or three more rooms along the row. They are called buildings as each is a different theme.

There are separate buildings, for sure, such as the Grant County Journal building, the church, the school house, the print shop, the butcher shop, the homestead, the line cabin, etc.

When there is an event, such as Pioneer Day last Saturday, the museum board of directors and employees want to have all of the buildings open. However, this is possible only if we have a volunteer to stay in each building.

The Columbia Basin Job Corps Center has helped during the past three events, last September, last June and this September, last Saturday. This is extremely important as 12 Job Corps students stepped up and volunteered to stay in a building and welcome visitors.

Think about this angle: The 12 students occupied one third of the museum buildings, so 100 percent of the buildings were open. From the other angle: If 12 students had not volunteered, only two thirds of the building would have been open.

“Couldn’t have done it without you,” museum director Pat Witham said as she thanked the students for participating.

Another angle to the success of Pioneer Day was the use of the Moses Lake Senior Center bus. There were other buses available, but no driver. When I called Carry, the center director, she said, “Sure, this vehicle is for community use.”

Of course, the driver must be a member of the center, have a valid drivers’ license and have insurance. The driver was me.

So, a big thanks to the Job Corps students and to the Moses Lake Senior Center, for all of the efforts put forth for a successful 2018 Pioneer Day.

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