The Lakeland Mirror

Alumna returns to volunteer

Heather Hartman

Heather Hartman

Shirly Horn and Mary Kate DeJardin work on the sunset backdrop.

Heather Hartman, Staff Reporter

Lakeland College Alumna Shirly Horn worked in Kohler for 41 years, retiring in December of 2008.

But that doesn’t mean she’s stopped working.

Shirly “Shirl” Horn, 64, returned to Lakeland as a volunteer to help make the set for the spring musical “Fiddler on the Roof” occured in the Bradley March 22-25.

Shirl also volunteers at other area places. She works as a member of stage crews for plays at Sheboygan North and South High Schools, and Lakeland Theatre’s Stage Crew, and for a group called “Memorial Imaging and Data.”

She volunteers at this last group mainly during summers with a man named Kenneth Martin. They take pictures at cemeteries and organize them for the use of the Sheboygan Research Center, the Mead Public Library, the Sheboygan Genealogy Society, and the church or organization affiliated with the cemetery. Thus far they have completed Calvary Cemetery in Sheboygan (over 10,000 pictures), IC Cemetery, Holy Cross Cemetery, and St. Mary’s (Sheboygan Falls).

“These are extremely helpful for anyone who is interested in genealogy and family history,” said Shirl.

And, of course, she volunteered at her alma mater.

“There was not much I could do at Lakeland, because I had made a previous commitment to Sheboygan North High, and I knew that the students had to get a certain amount of hours in in order to pass the classes they are in and every time I work it takes away from their time.”

Still, she managed to paint the set’s bed, chairs, and tables.

She chose to volunteer at Lakeland for a simple reason.

“I am a Lakeland graduate and wanted to get involved with the college again,” she said. “Charlie was the only one thus far that took me up on my offer. I basically volunteered at Lakeland in general and then sent Charlie an email directly. I would really like to get more involved with the athletics at lakeland but haven’t gotten into that part yet.”

When she first met Charlie Krebs, associate professor of theatre and speech and the director of “Fiddler,” he said that she could help with the costumes, but she politely declined saying, “I don’t sew.”

She compromised and held the fabric for the sunset and the white cover over the bride and groom as sophomore writing major Mary Kate DeJardin sewed them.

“It would have taken Mary Kate much longer than it did if I wouldn’t have been pulling and straightening the backdrop as she sewed it,” said Shirl. “Because when sewing you have to keep everything straight and flat both in front of the machine and in the back. When you have something so big to sew with only one person you can only go about a foot at a time in order to make sure everything is moving smoothly.”

She said her volunteer work at Lakeland was different from her work at high schools.

“At North, they are telling you what to do step by step, but here Charlie just tells you what he wants it to look like in the end and lets you run with it from there. Charlie mainly just observes as the students work,” she said.

She said she would enjoy volunteering at Lakeland again.

“I have told Charlie that he should notify me when something comes up again that I could help with. I am open for other options at Lakeland and when the opportunity arises I will jump at the chance,” she said.

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