Touchstone Award Finalist: Bong Center

Renee Passal
Updated: August 27, 2019 08:24 PM

The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation is again honoring grant recipients for their work. Six groups have been selected as finalists for the Touchstone Award. The first finalist to be showcased this year is the Bong Center!


They've been chosen because of their junior curator program, which kicked off last year. WDIO met with junior curators from this year's program.

"I got to learn so much about life in the Coast Guard from Peter," shared Julian Robbins, and 8th grader. Robbins and a partner completed an oral history about Peter Fiske, and then put together an exhibit about him.

Beverly McIntosh was the first woman to bring computers to the Air National Guard, according to Olivia Strand. The 8th grader did her oral history on Beverly. "She said a lot of words we didn't understand at first, like the ranks. We had to look that up further."

The program really gives kids an idea of what goes on behind the scenes at museum, and what it takes to put together an exhibit.

The grant also helped pay for the traveling trunk program. "They are really designed to be self-contained. They can go to the schools, and teachers take them out, and pull out the book. They can look at the artifacts. And use the whole curriculum we provide, or design their own," explained Hayes Scriven, Executive Director of the Bong.

Superior teachers definitely picked up on the trunks. They've also been sent out to Ashland. There are seven of them, designed around conflict eras or war heroes, like Richard I. Bong and Joe Gomer.

And now, Shawn Warring, another junior curator, knows much more about another local hero, Jim McIntosh. "He was amazing. Tons of time in the Air Force," Warring said. His family is very dedicated to the military, so he enjoyed learning more about it.

That connection is a goal of the Bong Center.

The Touchstone Award Luncheon is coming up on October 7th.


Renee Passal

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