Heritage Square Museum in Ontario recently hosted work crews comprised of 25 cast and crew members from the Hill Cumorah Pageant for service projects.
The volunteers visited over two days to help Ontario Historical and Landmark Preservation Society finish jobs on its to-do list, such as painting, weeding and property improvements, salvaging metal from broken items and removing and reinstalling the flag stone walkway to Alonzo Warner House.
Over the past six years, these volunteers restained the Hojack Train Station and Apple Dry House and assisted in carpentry work for an addition to the Crombe Exhibit Barn.
The service teams visit their sites between 1 and 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays of pageant week because of July’s warm and humid weather. The volunteers are organized in teams of 20 to 30 people. They represent several states and Canadian provinces as well as local and regional communities.
In addition to their cast and crew roles in the annual Hill Cummorah Pageant, nearly 500 people ages 13 and older contribute more than 1,800 hours in service projects at local nonprofit agencies and organizations. Volunteers are transported to service sites in Wayne, Monroe and Ontario counties to participate in planting, weeding, mulching, painting, carpentry and repairs.
“We truly enjoy these annual visits by the service team members, and are most appreciative for their talents and skills,” said Jim Switzer, project coordinator and past president of Heritage Square Museum.
The museum includes 10 buildings and the state’s oldest and largest sugar maple tree. It features 15 acres on the west side of Ontario Center Road, one-quarter mile from Lake Ontario and Ginna Nuclear Power Station.
Along with the historic North Ontario Methodist “Brick” Church and Pease Homestead, the 19th-century era site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Suzanne Stockman coordinates the service teams for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She works throughout the year to plan, schedule and confirm work sites and logistics. Each service team includes adult supervisors to provide support and coordination with each local agency and/or site.
“Our annual service teams help us reach out beyond ourselves with love, and help make the world a better place,” Stockman said.
The Hill Cumorah Pageant is an outdoor theatrical production presented annually by the Mormon Church at the historically significant site on state Route 21 in the town of Manchester. This year marked the pageant’s 80th anniversary.
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