March 7, 2019 – There are approximately 120 volunteers currently working at the Sanibel Historical Village. Their duties run the gamut, from greeting guests at the door, to working in the museum store, to giving tours, and to farming the pioneer garden. “We’d like to both recognize our volunteers’ contributions and share with the community what it means to be part of the Historical Village family,” said Executive Director Emilie Alfino. “Volunteering at the Village is a great opportunity to be part of a committed, dedicated – and fun – group.”
Buzz Griffin started volunteering at the village in 2010, spending two years working in the garden. Then he moved on to the Old Bailey Store in 2012. Now he works in the museum store in Rutland and often covers the front desk in Shore Haven. Originally from Edina, Minnesota, Buzz spends six months of the year on Sanibel, November to May. Before moving to Sanibel, Buzz was a School Media Specialist for 36 years and also owned a bar and liquor store for 35 years. He came to Sanibel by accident in 1981 due to bad weather in Clearwater. He most enjoys working in the store, where he gets to meet people from all over. He chose to volunteer at the village because he enjoys meeting all the people, visiting with guests, and feeling useful.
Terry and Andrew Jacob started volunteering at the village in 2009, after moving from Long Island, New York. Terry was a teacher, teaching all levels but primarily high school. She taught foreign languages (Spanish, Italian, and English as a Second Language). She also taught Italian traditional cooking in Adult Education and ultimately wrote a cookbook.
The Jacobs first discovered Sanibel on a vacation with friends to Fort Myers Beach 23 years ago. They took a ride to Sanibel and fell in love with the island. The next year they stayed for a week at the Shell Island Beach Club, and by the end of their stay, they owned a small condo on the east end, which they still have.
Terry is a docent and gives guided tours and does whatever is needed to help the village. She most enjoys interacting with visitors and with other volunteers and has met many wonderful people. Her favorite buildings are Rutland House and the Schoolhouse. They’re very special places, she says. Why did she choose to volunteer at the village? When she came to the village to inquire about volunteering and said she was a teacher, she was told that she’d be a perfect docent. “I was scheduled right away,” she says. “I didn’t have any time to think about it!”
What does Andrew do at the village? “I do whatever Emilie asks me to do,” he says. “I’m not a docent because I’m told I’d talk too much!” (Emilie says, “We didn’t tell him that!) What he most enjoys about the village is Luminary. One year he played Will Reed at the post office, and he also enjoys decorating the Schoolhouse for the children to see what life would have been like for them “back in the day.” His favorite building is Morning Glories because it reminds him of his grandparents’ house where he spent every Sunday as a young boy. While there are so many worthwhile places to volunteer on the island, Andrew says the village preserves the history of Sanibel which, as he gets older, he realizes how important it is to be able to learn where we came from.
The Sanibel Historical Village is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Full guided tours take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at no additional charge, depending on docent availability. The village is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS) and there is handicap access to the buildings. Admission is $10 for adults over 18. Members and children are free. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.sanibelmuseum.org or call (239) 472-4648.