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Update on Maag House Painting Project
Behr Paint will be providing volunteers on May 17-18 to prepare the historic Maag house for painting. Any final repairs to the wood will be completed, and the building will be sanded and made ready for its new colors.

Unfortunately for project momentum, the wedding season is upon us. Beginning the weekend of May 24, we have at least one wedding or other major event every weekend until mid-September. This means that we cannot have any weekend construction or repair work during this period. So the final paint job will be scheduled for a weekend in September.

In order to be true to the type of colors that would have been used in 1899, we hired an architectural color consulting firm, The Color People. They have recommended a lovely color palette for the work that will make the house stand out and will accent its unique features. Sometime in the near future we will be painting a sample area so that we can be certain we like the combination. Once they have done so, we will post a preview photo here.

The Never-Ending Makeover EasesInterior of new classroom
Construction, enhancements, landscaping, and restoration have slowed to a more leisurely pace at the museum. The interior work on the new classroom is almost completed. The picnic area is finished, landscaped, and in daily use by our school tours.

Children in newly-landscaped picnic areaConstruction on the "storage" building is on hiatus while we explore the feasibility of making it into an office building instead. Meanwhile, the covered wagon sits outside the building.

The large storage containers that sat at the backWagon and palm trees in former parking area of the property have been moved, and the gravel area they occupied is now our parking lot. The old parking area is currently occupied by tubs of palm trees and and a cargo wagon with a "driver." It will eventually be landscaped as a garden plaza.

The Maag House is also being readied for a facelift. Restoration and replacement of damaged exterior wood is underway. Once this is completed, the house and its related buildings - the carriage barn and the water tower that houses our gift shop - will be re-painted in typical Victorian style.

A big "thank you" to the following sponsors who have donated or committed to donate large amounts of manpower and materials to make these improvements happen:

  • of In-N-Out Construction
  • Beacon Concrete
  • Behr Process Corporation, makers of Behr Paint

Gangster's Gala - September 27, 2008
Vo-De-O-Do and Twenty-three Skidoo! Gangster Alfonse "Machine Gun" Kellogg is celebrating his birthday in his famous Santa Ana speakeasy. Rub elbows with the cream of the crop and the dregs of society. Law enforcers, politicians, stars of the silver screen, and rival underworld bosses will do anything for their piece of the pie. It will be an evening of Prohibition, flappers, and bathtub gin. You may come to the party, but always speak easy.

Centennial Heritage Dinner Theatre presents the 2008 CHM Fundraiser on September 27, 2008. Save the date, so you don't miss out. More details coming soon.

Baskets of citrus fruitVolunteering at CHM
With all the new growth and momentum occurring, the museum is looking for volunteers.

This is a great place to volunteer, as members of Starbucks Southern California Food Service discovered recently when they came to pick our excess citrus crop. You can see how much fun they had by checking out the Video and Photo Album of their volunteer day. The fruit that they picked was donated to America's Second Harvest.

If you are interested in volunteering, either with an organization or as an individual, here are some of our current and upcoming opportunities:

  • Ongoing -- Nature Center gardening / weed removal
  • Ongoing -- Children's Garden construction and planting
  • May - Sept. -- Office work supporting annual fundraiser

Additional opportunities can be found on our Volunteering page.

To volunteer, contact:
Diane Soma - 714-540-0404 x230 -
Pat Bedson - 714-540-0404 x226 -

New Faces and Responsibilities
The unprecedented growth surge at the Museum has placed bigger demands on our management and office staff. Several new employees have been added in the past few months, and several others have been promoted or assigned new responsibilities.

Jane Van Dyke has been promoted to Director of Operations, freeing Executive Director Colleen Mensel to focus on her work with the Board of Directors and her community relations activities. Jane V. is also continuing to handle human resources, accounting, and payroll. Jane's old position of Educational Program Director is now being shared by new team member Linda Sheffield and long-time program instructor Caroline Moyer.

New team member Diane Soma has come on board as Director of Development and Corporate Relations and has quickly become invaluable in courting corporate donors and taking on a variety of public relations and fundraising tasks. She is also helping serve temporarily as a point of contact for volunteers.

A renewed push for volunteer projects has generated enough activity for us to need someone to coordinate it all. Pat Bedson, the museum's senior Program Instructor with over ten years of continuous service, is preparing to take on the position of Volunteer Coordinator. She will be the first point of contact for all volunteer work, including Eagle Scout projects.

Kathy Williams, who has handled almost every job imaginable over the past couple of years, is now the Facilities and Maintenance Coordinator. Her job includes supervising the ongoing construction activities.

Another relatively recent addition to the museum's team, Sandi Frahm, has been promoted from a general office assistant role to Colleen Mensel's official Executive Assistant.

For contact information on all our key team members, see the Contact Us page on our Web site.


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3101 West Harvard Street
Santa Ana, CA 92704

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