Category Archives: News

We Are a Blue Star Museum

Blue Star museums offer free admission to active duty military, including Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard and Reserve members and their families.  Visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums for a list of participating museums.

Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Buncy (Alex René)

Get to Know Our Volunteers!

Alex Buncy is a swing band conductor who volunteers as a ride operator at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum.

Alex with our Kiddie Carrousel

I call the Carrousel a TIME MACHINE. It has the ability to take seniors back in time and gives kids something they will always remember in time.

  1. How many years have you volunteered with us, and what are your roles here?

I began volunteering at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in 2010. I am a ride operator. I operate the 1916 #1 Special carrousel, the Kiddie carrousel, and the outdoor children’s rides.

Alex conducting the Alex René Big Band

2. What is your profession?

I am a musician and currently am the leader of the Alex René Big Band. We play special events in the Western New York area.

3. How did you start to volunteer here?

My wife Thelma started to volunteer here, and I decided to volunteer as well.

4. Why do you volunteer here?

I volunteer here because I like working with children and putting smiles on other people’s faces. It also is a great way to keep me off the street and out of trouble.

5. What is (are) your favorite things about the museum?

Santa’s helpers.

My favorite thing about the museum is the people. I enjoy the company of the staff and my fellow volunteers. I also love interacting with the visitors.

6. Give us favorite moments here at the Carrousel Museum.

My favorite moment is watching the eyes of the seniors and kids light up when they ride.

Our 2017 volunteers!

Are you interested in volunteering at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum? Contact us at info@carrouselmuseum.org or (716)693-1885.

Volunteer Spotlight: Barb Aschenbrenner

Get to Know Our Volunteers!

Barb Aschenbrenner is a retired teacher who volunteers as a docent and ride operator at the Carrousel Museum.

Barb with the 1916 Number One Special Carrousel.

1. How many years have you volunteered with the museum? What is your role with the museum?

I began volunteering at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in July of 2016. Just in time for the 100th anniversary celebration of the 1916 #1 Special carrousel, one of the first three carrousels that were manufactured on the site of the museum.

I am a museum docent, ride operator, and I help with special events.

2. What was your profession?

I taught Spanish, French and English in Public and Private Schools. As part of those experiences, I served as adviser to The American Field Service (exchange student) events and tour escort to Spain for high school students. I also worked during Summer months as a Licensed Bilingual Tour Guide of destinations in Niagara Falls, New York, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara – On – The – Lake, and Toronto. My volunteer docent experience also includes inspiring, rewarding, and friendships at The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

3. How did you start to volunteer here?

As a resident of North Tonawanda, the museums publicity, personal invitations, the Centenary of the museum, and the Victorian Tea convinced me that this is a place where I enjoy learning and the camaraderie of others.

Barb helping a student during a field trip.

4. Why do you volunteer here?

The heritage of community members, whatever the activity, motivate me to take an active part in museum opportunities.

5. What are your favorite things about the museum?

As a life-long learner, seeing the results of educational and entertaining museum features for all ages is a joy.

The current issue of Western New York Heritage Magazine (Winter, 2018) says it very well:

It is arguable that Western New York boasts a depth and breadth of history that can rival anywhere else in the country. Just about any topic or time period has some link to the region. Native history? Got it! Colonial history? Got it! Geography, industry, transportation, education, politics, war, famous personalities, inventions, oddities? Well, you get the idea – Western New York has them all, and then some.*

6. Give us favorite moments here at the Carrousel Museum.

Daily, I observe the following facets and words of appreciation about them at the museum:

The smiles, relaxed atmosphere, and entertaining, fond memories, combined with the essential purposes of a museum:

  • Community building, outreach, and gathering place,
  • Fellowship, hospitality, recreation, education,
  • Source of employment, teamwork, restoration, and
  • Inspiration for and confidence in all of the above.

Our 2017 volunteers!

Are you interested in volunteering at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum? Contact us at info@carrouselmuseum.org or (716)693-1885.

*Western new York Heritage Magazine” (ISSN 1097-0568) Winter 2018. Volume 20, Number 4. Copyright 2018 Western New York Heritage, Inc.