On August 28, PTM hosted a “Welcome Back!” event – when originally conceived, we thought COVID-19 would be a thing of the past, and that this would be our first time officially welcoming back our members and volunteers after the pandemic to show everyone what we’ve been up to since our last in-person Annual Meeting.
The Delta variant had other plans, but we were able to adapt the event to be safer, with all activities taking place outside under a large tent, generously provided by the Washington Auto Mall, who also sponsored the event.
During the day, members and volunteers were invited to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the future building and to see the progress on Trolley Street construction. Tours of the Kathryn and David Black Transit Archives were also given, as well as tours of the Reliance Building’s equipment bays. A dinner for members and volunteers followed, with the Annual Meeting beginning at 7 PM.
After opening remarks from Museum President Chris Golofski, the Museum’s new logo was unveiled. This new logo will be working its way onto Museum signage and marketing collateral soon! The first merchandise with PTM’s new logo was a stainless steel travel mug – attendees of the dinner were each invited to take one home.
The new logo was developed in partnership with Red House Communications, a Pittsburgh-based marketing company, and includes the tagline “History that connects us.” Scott Becker, Executive Director/CEO of the Museum said “this new logo is whimsical and fun and the tag-line is very appropriate since streetcars connected people to places they needed to go and people they needed to see.” Matt Blint, President of Red House Communications added, “The visual language of the streetcar era is great inspiration for any creative team, but the collection at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is a literal treasure trove. We’re proud to be involved in such a vital project for the Museum and the region.” The Museum is constructing a 21,000 square-foot Welcome and Education Center which it expects to open later in 2022.
Board member Don Bailey acted as head of the Welcome Back Committee and organized much of the event from his residence outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
Jim Herrington, Assistant Treasurer, presented the slate of candidates for the upcoming election to the Museum Board of Trustees.
Executive Director/CEO Scott Becker gave a report, followed by an “On Track for the Future” update from Ray Betler, Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee.
Treasurer Walt Pilof wrapped up the evening with an update on Museum finances.
After the Annual Meeting, Museum leadership presented various volunteers with service awards. There was no volunteer banquet or awards ceremony in 2020 due to the pandemic, so the evening’s awards included those from 2019 and 2020.
Special Recognition Award: Ray Betler
Special Recognition Award: Walt Pilof
2019 President’s Award: Kevin Zebley
2020 President’s Award: Ed Morascyzk
2019 Executive Director’s Award: Katie Imler, Dan Bower
2020 Executive Director’s Award: Bob Popey
2020 Special Events Award: Wayne & Nancy Young
2019 Rookie Award: Richard Rhoton
2020 Rookie Award: Roy Scandrol
2020 Youth Volunteer Award: Jack Jost
2019 Operator of the Year: Bob Popey
2020 Operator of the Year: Katie Imler
These awards were followed by a presentation of the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. In 2021, the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum became a certifying organization to hand out these awards that recognize volunteer service at a national level. The program was established in 2003 to recognize the important role of volunteers, and the program has continued under each administration. The award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.
Volunteers must have a certain amount of service hours to earn an award. The bronze level includes volunteers with between 100 and 250 hours of service. The silver level awards go to volunteers with between 250 and 500 hours of service, and volunteers with over 500 hours receive a gold-level award. Youth and teen hours are especially valuable – youth volunteers ages 16-25 hit the gold level at 250 hours, and teen volunteers ages 11-15 reach this top level at 100 hours.
Bronze awards went to Brett Freithaler, Dave Hamley, Dave Woods, David Moffett, Donna Becker, Katie Imler, Nancy Young, Wayne Young, Richard Rhoton, Stephen Hudspeth, Tom Pawlesh, and Wayne Wicks.
Silver awards went to Alfred Cooley, Jr., Art Rizzino, Bob Popey, George Greenbaum, Jeff King, John Habak, Robert Jordan, Roy Scandrol, and Tony Jost.
Gold awards went to Bernie Orient, Christopher Golofski, CJ Bick (youth), Dan Bower, Dennis Bockus, George W. Gula, Jack Jost (teen), Lawrence Lovejoy, and Michael Buchta (youth).
Not everyone could be at the awards ceremony in person, so we handed out a few of the awards during a shop workday (photo: Jack Jost).
To round out the evening, Ed Morascyzk gave a special thank you to the volunteers who helped the Museum get through the pandemic in 2020.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum thanks all volunteers, whether they’ve volunteered 10 or 1000 hours!