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Who's serving your community?...

In a small town, it takes a whole community working together to keep it alive and thriving. By keeping the grounds of Kenmare beautiful, updated, and clean it can increase local pride.

7/17/18 (Tue)

In a small town, it takes a whole community working together to keep it alive and thriving. By keeping the grounds of Kenmare beautiful, updated, and clean it can increase local pride.

Preserving Kenmare’s unique past is important too. Promoting our town’s history can help locals better understand their ancestors and instill a sense of who they are as people.

Kenmare local, Bryan Quigley, has been involved in serving his community by both helping clean-up efforts and by promoting our town’s history.  

Quigley has spent some of his time volunteering for the Thrivent Action Teams. Each Thrivent member receives a yearly stipend set aside specifically for community projects. Through Thrivent, volunteers were recently able to fund expenses for a clean-up of the Rosehill cemetery.

In the past, they have completed community projects such as repainting Kenmare Wheels and Meals.

“Any time you get a group of volunteers together you get more done than if it was just one person doing the work,” Quigley said, “At Rosehill we had 13 people and we worked for four hours straight, you wouldn’t believe what we accomplished.” 

Quigley has also spent around 15 years volunteering for the Pioneer Village. He has now been President of the Lake County Historical Society for 10-12 years. The Pioneer Village is completely run by volunteers who truly care about preserving and promoting the history of Kenmare.

Ron Boughton, Helen Frees, Cindy Rytter are among other volunteers at the Pioneer Village

Volunteer Ron Boughton has been helping the Pioneer Village for about 12 years now. Boughton often helps them repair the donated machinery. “I enjoy working with the Pioneer Village,” Boughton explained, “I enjoy working with that old time machinery that I grew up with”.

That nostalgia is what the Pioneer Village works to promote everyday. “It is a lot of fun for me,” said Helen Frees, another Volunteer. “Perserving of the material and history, and learning about the hardships and lives of the settlers who settled this area”.

The Pioneer Village, of course, is always looking for more pieces to the puzzle of Kenmare by collecting donations and artifacts. “What people see as old, we see as new,” said Cindy Rytter, a long time volunteer.

The volunteers who spend their time volunteering for the village truly do it out of enjoyment and passion for their community. Rytter has been volunteering for the village ever since they re-opened almost 20 years ago. “(volunteering for the village) Fits me to a T,” Rytter explained, “I have a love for antiques and I also love organizing and painting so it’s perfect.”

 The volunteers who help the village all have an appreciation for each other. The Pioneer Village thrives on teamwork. “If not for Bryan Quigley, we (the village) would not have what you see today,” Rytter stated.

Under the President title, Quigley is the person most responsible for raising money for the village. He finds sponsors, writes proposals and grants, and finds different fundraisers in order to gain resources for the village.

Although Quigley does not get to spend as much time as he would like on the grounds of Pioneer Village, he said the awesome volunteers that do keep Pioneer Village up and running.

According to Quigley, he was inspired to serve by Catholic social activist Dorothy Day.

For three years, Quigley lived in a homeless shelter that operated under Dorothy Day’s philosophy. They were paid 75 dollars a month to work 15 hour days, nearly 7 days a week.

“We are called to serve not be entertained,” stated Quigley, “Some are called to serve our neighbor, our community, our church.” Quigley has spent his life serving his community and his church in any way possible.

Quigley says that one of the biggest difficulties is shortage of volunteers. “If you volunteer and you serve you are getting something done that is far more constructive than sitting on Facebook.”

Quigley and the Pioneer Village are always willing to welcome in new volunteers. If you would like to be involved with a community Trivent project or the Pioneer Village you can contact 701-240-4505.   

Editor’s Note: If you know someone who deserves some extra recognition for their volunteer work in the community, please contact Taylor Eckleberry at The Kenmare News.

Phone 701-385-4275 or email: ( Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!