The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center has been awarded four state awards from the Tennessee Association of Museums, officials announced at TAM’s state conference earlier this month in Chattanooga.
Barry VanWinkle, Townsend resident and Heritage Center volunteer, received the Award of Excellence for volunteerism. VanWinkle, a retired professor of medicine, was recognized for his development of the Center’s Native American programming, featuring lessons in the use of early hunting weapons and native games. This is only the second time the award has been given.
“I’m both honored and surprised,” VanWinkle said following the presentation at the Heritage Center’s regular board meeting this week. “This project was fun, to begin with, and to receive this honor for doing something I enjoyed so much is icing on the cake. I’m humbled by the recognition.”
The Heritage Center also received three Commendations - one for the use of a novelty item (the famous button whizzer), one for the unique use of flat paper advertising (last year’s tabletop tri-fold to promote BankEast’s Sunset Music Series), and one for educational programming in the teaching of Native American Games.
“We’re fortunate to have the efforts of our volunteers and staff recognized by the Tennessee Association of Museums,” Bob Patterson, Heritage Center Director, said following the presentation to VanWinkle. “And Barry VanWinkle is an excellent representative of our volunteers. We’re extremely pleased he is being recognized for the time and efforts, and the creativity he has invested here.”
For further information on the Heritage Center, visit www.gsmheritagecenter.org or call 865-448-0044.