KrisAnn Sullivan
Frank House director, 308.865.8284 OR

Three Kearney residents will be recognized for their volunteerism at the Frank House Volunteer Recognition Reception set for 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Frank House.

The volunteers being honored at the event include Gloria LeDroit, Shirley Johnson and Brian Whetstone. The event is being hosted by UNK and the Frank House Advisory Board. In all, more than 100 volunteers have given approximately 1,500 hours of service to the Frank House this past year.

“We are honoring Gloria (LeDroit) for her consistent commitment and dedication,” said KrisAnn Sullivan, Frank House director. “This was her 19th year to lead the annual Edible Flower Tea, and she has helped with a number of the ‘A Night to Remember the Titanic’ events. Her volunteerism earns the Frank House a $500 grant each year.”

“Shirley (Johnson) is being honored for her spirit, enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude,” Sullivan said. “Shirley heads the Friends’ membership and treasurer duties, and always brings a smile.

“Brian (Whetstone) is being honored for rolling up his sleeves again and again this summer,” Sullivan said. “He is a Kearney High student who will clock around 200 volunteer hours this summer. He loves research and lends a hand with whatever needs done from sweeping the basement to leading tours.” Whetstone is the son of Leanne and Jim Whetstone of Kearney.

“Gloria, Shirley and Brian exemplify the dedication, enthusiasm and hard work of our many Frank House volunteers,” Sullivan said.

Frank House volunteer partners, including Friends of the Frank House, Soil Sisters and Misters, UNK Office of Service Learning, RuralCorps of South Central Nebraska and Kearney Area Preservation Society will also be hosted at the event.

“Our partner groups volunteer to help steward and share the Frank House all year long,” Sullivan said. “This is their day. It is our privilege to recognize, applaud and celebrate their united service and accomplishments.”

“Community youth volunteers made the Teddy Bear Picnic, Phantoms of the Frank House and Easter Egg Hunt possible,” Sullivan said. Each year, approximately 20 Saturday at the Frank House programs are entirely lead by UNK student, staff and community volunteers.

“The Friends of the Frank House decorate the first floor for the holiday season, and make possible the annual bridge tourney and the Edible Flowers Tea,” Sullivan said. Members of the Friends group help sponsor events and give tours as necessary.

“The Soil Sisters and Misters beautify the grounds and lead tours of the gardens, and the Kearney Area Preservation Society helps with the annual Preservation Celebration and program presentations,” Sullivan said. “Volunteers from various Kearney businesses also support the Frank House projects. For example, visitors to the Frank House during the holidays enjoy arrangements provided by Todd and Lois Thalken of Kearney Floral.”

“RuralCorps of South Central Nebraska provides AmeriCorps workers and a volunteer database that helps link volunteers to our needs,” Sullivan said. “This program and its partnership with UNK Office of Service Learning provided the Frank House with more than 700 volunteer hours this past year.

According to Sullivan, the Frank House Advisory Board informs, advises and supports UNK in the preservation, programming, development and public presentation of the Frank House as an integral part of the university and the community. The board is
made up of five permanent members representing UNK and University Foundation and at least five community members. Members serve from Sept 1 – Aug 31 each year.

“This year they helped with collection issues, the Teachers’ Time Out Program, the annual Preservation Celebration and the rehabilitation of the house,” Sullivan said.

Members of the Frank House Advisory Board include: Dr. Charles Bicak, UNK senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs; Margaret Brown, community member and past resident of the Frank House, Friends of the Frank House past president; Curt Carlson, UNK vice chancellor of University Relations; Carol Cope, community member; Dr. Jason Combs, community member, Burr Oak Antiques and Appraisals, and UNK chair and associate professor of geography; Lucas Dart, campaign director for University of Nebraska Foundation office in Kearney and associate director of UNK Alumni Association; Tami Hellman, community member, Friends of the Frank House; Audrey Kauders, community member, director of the Museum of Nebraska Art; Pete Kotsiopulos, director University of Nebraska Foundation Kearney office and executive director of UNK Alumni Association; Lee McQueen, UNK director of Facilities; Dick Meyer, community member, administrator of Curriculum and Assessment for Kearney Public Schools; Jennifer Murrish, community member, director of Trails and Rails Museum with Buffalo County Historical Society; Linda Schroeder, community member; and KrisAnn Sullivan, director of the Frank House.