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April 22, 2019 12:31 pm

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Vic Bella & Ellen Donovan Receive Top Honors From The Saugatuck-Douglas History Center

Vic Bella has received the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center’s top-honor Charles J. Lorenz Award of Achievement for 2017, and Ellen Donovan has been named the Center’s Volunteer Of The Year. Bella resides in Saugatuck, Donovan in Fennville.

The Lorenz Award was established in 1997 to honor the memory of Charles Lorenz, who gave generously of his time, talent, money and energy in the formation and development of this organization.

Winners are selected each year by a special History Center committee, recognizing distinguished leadership in fulfilling the Center’s mission to “help the community understand its past and use its history to shape its future and preserve its quality of life”.

Bella was cited for his long-time, important contributions to the History Center’s exhibitions team, tackling jobs from finding artifacts to handling logistics and assembly of exhibit components and pieces.

As a leader of the Save the Barrel project, he worked with various stakeholders to see the 1950s-era Douglas Root Beer Barrel concession stand’s components restored and the barrel reconstructed last year.

He also serves on the History Center’s Collections Committee. In addition, he until recently served as a member of the City of Saugatuck’s Historic District Commission, shepherding and promoting historically-appropriate work within that municipality’s local historic district.

The Volunteer Of The Year Award honors outstanding service to the History Center. Candidates are nominated by standing committee chairs, and winners are selected by majority vote of the Board.

Donovan’s selection for this award recognizes her dedication as manager of the museum shop at the Pump House Museum, overseeing merchandise inventory and renovating the shop space in 2016-17 to be both more inviting and better organized.

Her long background in non-profit administration makes her a valuable asset to the History Center’s Development Committee, crafting strategy to secure the long-term stability of the organization. She also has assisted with organizing History Center events, including the upcoming Old School House 150th Anniversary Gala in September, and greets the public as a museum host at least one day each week.

The S-D History Center was founded as the Historical Society in 1986 with seventy Charter members “to discover, procure and preserve whatever may relate to the civil, religious, social, cultural and natural history of Saugatuck, Douglas and surrounding area”.

As a volunteer-based, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization with membership open to all, the Center (renamed early this year) now exceeds 700 individual, family and corporate members.

Activities are funded by contributions from members, friends and grants, and from the proceeds of special events.
For more information about the History Center and its many volunteer opportunities, visit

Vic Bella & Ellen Donovan Receive Top Honors From The Saugatuck-Douglas History Center

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