Volunteers (we need some) make a difference
By Rick Cleveland
Your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, which operates six days a week with a full-time staff of four, could not function without the help of a dedicated group of volunteers.
We always can use more volunteers. Sports knowledge helps, but is not a necessity. We have volunteers ranging from housewives, to retired businessmen, to Hall of Famers themselves. We also have husbands and wives who volunteer as couples.
Among the perks, volunteers receive free entrance to the museum for their families, 20 percent off all gift shop items and discounts to all the museum’s special events. Quarterly luncheons, including a Valentines luncheon and Christmas luncheon are held throughout the year.
Museum volunteer, Brenda Dyson, works full-time as Community Engagement Coordinator for Network 8 (a facilitator of care for kidney patients). She volunteers at the museum on weekends and for special events. She has been with us since 1996 when the
“My daddy was a huge sports fan so naturally my sister and I became big sports fans,” Brenda said. “Daddy had to have somebody to watch the games with. Funny thing was, he pulled for LSU, I went to Ole Miss and my sister went to State.”
Brenda visited the museum shortly after it opened, says she was mesmerized by the exhibits (especially the theatre production) and volunteered on the spot.
“I love the kids who visit and I love meeting all the legends,” Brenda Dyson said. “I love that museum. I was even on the board of directors for a while.”
Jim Currie, a spry, 83-year-old Iowa native who moved to Mississippi from Texas, has volunteered for the past eight years.
“I used to think there was no way that any state could have more great athletes than Texas, but I’ve learned differently since I started volunteering,” Currie said. “It’s amazing how many of the greatest athletes in the world have Mississippi backgrounds. I’ve been working here for eight years, and I still learn something new about Mississippi’s sports heritage every time I’m here.”
Currie enjoys the many school groups who tour the museum, especially the younger children. “They all have questions, and I love it when they look at my badge and call me, “Mr. Jim.”
Currie counts meeting and talking with Hall of Famers such as Boo Ferriss and W.C. Gorden among the many highlights of his eight years of volunteering.
“Nicest people you will ever meet,” Currie said.
The same can be said about Currie and all MSHOF volunteers.
Volunteers work flexible three-hour shifts as little or as often as they want. They assist with school groups, ticket sales and the museum’s participatory area.
If you are interested in exploring volunteer opportunities, please contact Margaret White at 601 982-8264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.