Johnson Victrola Museum Volunteers Receive Governor's Awards

A total of 22 individuals and groups were recipients of the 2015 Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Awards, with five coming from the Johnson Victrola Museum.

On October 6, 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell celebrated 22 individuals and groups as recipients of the 2015 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards at the Dover Downs Hotel in Dover, Delaware.

The volunteer staff at Johnson Victrola Museum was recognized in the Arts and Culture category. The recipients were Howard Fulcher, Arnold Leftwich, Jim Schilling, Laura Herbin, and David Perlmutter, yet, the latter two were unable to attend the ceremony.

The museum uses phonograph machines, recordings, objects, and paintings to depict the story of Eldridge Reeves Johnson, a native of the First State and founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company.

A group of volunteers was trained to assist the staff in the operation of the museum in March 2011 after the museum began operating on a reduced schedule in August 2009 due to state budget reductions. Many of the original volunteers have left and while Fulcher and Leftwich were a part of the original volunteer group, Herbin, Perlmutter, and Schilling joined in 2012.

By May 2011, the museum started operating on a four-day schedule thanks to Fulcher and Leftwich. Since the creation of the volunteer program, the volunteers have provided 3,000 hours of service to the museum and have gone above and beyond what is expected of a museum docent.

A statement from Governor Markell, regarding all of the winners, states, “These volunteers recognize that it’s not about them. It’s about the people they serve…They not only illustrate the growing ethic of volunteerism in our state, but they contribute to a stronger and healthier Delaware.”