The program specifically designed for young people succeeded in attracting them to the museum where many asked questions during the monologues of the historical characters they met on the tour.
“Our performers were excited to have that involvement and deviate from their planned presentations to answer questions,” said Carolyn Rhoades, youth director for the Society. She also fielded some of those questions while performing as Willie Gamble DuBois, presenting information about the DuBois Mansion.
A “Night At the Museum” was open to children in kindergarten through fifth grade accompanied by a parent or guardian. Twenty-seven children escorted by nearly that many adults attended the program.
“We are very pleased with the results,” said Rhoades. “The turnout was good; the children attentive and well-behaved. Hopefully, they made a connection with local history that will carry into the future. We hope they come back to visit the museum again.”
In addition to meeting with Willie DuBois, those attending heard from John E. DuBois performed by Ryan Haggerty; young Tom Mix performed by Caleb Thompson, who added some harmonic music to his presentation; Bob Zercher as DuBois’ oldest fireman; Levi Thompson as a soap box derby enthusiast; and Todd Shindledecker as a World War II veteran.
Leading the tours were Paul Bojalad, Galen Kilmer and Todd Thompson. Providing support in the museum were Kathy Pallone, Merica Pallone, Gene Aravich, Beecher Klingensmith, Elaine “Pinky” Kalinoski, Ruth Gregory, Tom Schott and Virginia Schott.
The “Night At the Museum” took its name from the series of movies starring Ben Stiller and took its inspiration from the society’s successful Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walks. The organizing committee for the evening included Carolyn Rhoades (chair), Ruth Gregori, Elaine “Pinky” Kalinoski, Tom Schott and Virginia Schott.
Cookies and milk provided by Eat N’ Park and Save A Lot respectively were served. The DuBois Business College also provided support to the activity. Each child attending received a souvenir activity pack with a coloring book, crayons, pencil and pencil sharpener.