Brendlers recognized for dedication to volunteering

CHAZY - The Alice T. Miner Museum has depended on the commitment of volunteers to showcase local history for the past 15 years. Now, two of the museum's longtime volunteers are moving on.

Janet and George Brendler, Chazy, were recognized last Saturday for nearly 25 years of combined service to the museum. Amanda A. Palmer, director and curator of the museum, said the Brendlers have been instrumental in improving the efficiency of programs at "The Alice," as it's commonly known, and helping in a host of ways.

The Brendlers began their service in 1994, when Janet retired as a registered nurse for Dr. George W. Clark, who had a practice in the hamlet for several years.

"I needed something to do," she admitted. "I was bored staying home all the time."

She then began looking into volunteering, first setting her sights on a museum in Plattsburgh. However, she soon learned Fred Smith, the director and curator of The Alice at the time, was looking for volunteers as well.

"That was closer to home than going to Plattsburgh, so I came here," said Janet.

It wasn't long before she started helping at the museum on a regular basis. Eventually, Smith wanted to take inventory of all the pieces in the museum's collection, and for that, Janet enlisted the help of her husband, who had recently retired as a teacher at Chazy Central Rural School.

"We catalogued every item in the museum, gave it a description and George took pictures of everything with a digital camera," said Janet.

"They needed someone to photograph the items so Janet volunteered me," George said.

The process took more than a year, but, in the end, a comprehensive reference was created that aids the museum today in reviewing information about its pieces, said Palmer. Though she hadn't taken over Smith's role at that time, Palmer said she knew taking inventory at the museum was "a gargantuan project" and that the Brendlers "played a key role in its success."

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