Superior Wisconsin-The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is pleased to announce as part of National Volunteer Week, April 7-13, its first ever Jim Grant Volunteer of the Year Award to Ken Beyer.
This is the first year of the award for the Center. It is
named after Jim Grant, who volunteered in a variety ways with the Center from
its inception through 2017, in particular managing the commemorative tile wall
program. Jim’s role with the program was to work with the family members
purchasing the tile, as well as with the engraver and the installer. The tile
program at the Center was designed to honor anyone who served in the military
or on the homefront during World War II, and now it is open to any veteran of
any conflict. If you are interested in purchasing a tile, please visit the
Center to make arrangements.
“The commemorative tiles gave the Center a chance to
recognize so many people who served in so many ways in the war effort. It was a
labor of love to take on the development of the tile walls. To watch families
gather around a plaque, reminiscing about their loved ones, made it all worth
while,” stated Jim Grant. “What an unexpected honor to have this award created.
Volunteers give so much to the Center, helping in many ways, and I am delighted
to be part of this essential support.”
The first recipient of the award is Ken Beyer. Ken began
volunteering on a weekly basis with the Bong Center in 2001 in collections
before the Center was even built. He
helps by accessioning and cataloging newly donated items. He started
volunteering as a way to honor his Uncle, who was in the service and was a P.O.W. Volunteering has always been in Ken’s blood.
For 36 years he was a clown in the AAD Shrine Circus. Since 1961 he has been a part
of the Masonic Lodge and served in the Air National Guard from 1953-61. He
likes getting out and talking with people and seeing all the artifacts come
into the collection.
“This is the perfect way to kick off this award.” stated
Hayes Scriven, Executive Director of the Center. He continues “ We needed to
find a way to recognize the work of people like Jim and Ken. They both have committed a large part of
their life to the Center and we wanted to show our appreciation.”
About the Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical
Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of
World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational
resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.
The Center is always looking for volunteers at the
Center. We are currently seeking
volunteers that can lead tours, work in the gift shop and welcome visitors to
the Center. If you are interested, please contact us at bongcenter.org