Museum to receive top state award
The Historical Museum at St. Gertrude will receive the 2010 Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award for Outstanding Service.  The Award will be presented at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood at 11:00 a.m. on December 16th.Sister Alfreda Elsensohn, founder of the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude and historian for whom Idaho’s most prestigious museum award is named.
Awarded annually by the Idaho Humanities Council, Idaho State Historical Society, and Idaho Heritage Trust, the Sister Alfreda recognition includes a $10,000 award to be used by the winning museum to continue its educational efforts.  This is the third year for the Award.
The Award is named for Sister Alfreda Elsensohn, who founded the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude in the 1930s.  Sister Alfreda, one of Idaho’s outstanding historians, sought to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts from Idaho County and the surrounding area to better educate the public.  “A museum is a bridge which links the present with the past,” she said.  It is her vision of Idaho museums as exciting, interactive, and educational institutions that the Award seeks to recognize by honoring one outstanding Idaho museum each year.
“It comes at a good time,” says Museum director Lyle Wirtanen, “we will move forward in using the funds in a constructive manner to promote programming.”
The Bonner County Historical Museum in Sandpoint received the first Award in 2008, and the South Bannock County Historical Center in Lava Hot Springs won in 2009.  “It is most appropriate that this year the Sister Alfreda Award will be ‘going home,’” noted Rick Ardinger, Executive Director of the Idaho Humanities Council.  “The Historical Museum at St. Gertrude continues to carry on the legacy of Sister Alfreda in its outstanding effort to preserve Idaho history and make it accessible to the public.”
“The Idaho State Historical Society seeks to lead the state in preserving and sharing our history,” said Executive Director Janet Gallimore.  “We greatly appreciate the professional collaboration of many partners throughout the state who work to preserve Idaho’s rich history on a daily basis.  The Historical Museum at St. Gertrude exemplifies the finest quality work being undertaken in the state.  It is an honor for us to recognize their outstanding efforts.”
While the Heritage Trust, Humanities Council, and State Historical Society collaborate on many projects, this is their only joint award.  “Idaho’s museums are caretakers of the stories, artifacts, photographs, records, and memorabilia that remind us of who we have been and help to guide us to where we want to be,” stated Gaetha Pace, Executive Director of the Idaho Heritage Trust.  “It is most appropriate that our three agencies recognize the important work being done by Idaho’s museums.  And the Museum at St. Gertrude serves as an inspiration to others in Idaho and beyond.”
The Award ceremony on December 16th at 11:00 a.m. is free and open to the public.  It will be held in the Johanna Room at the Spirit Center of the Monastery.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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