Friends of History to Honor Glenn Clark at 30th Anniversary Gala

The Friends of History in Fulton will honor a local retired educator and long-time volunteer Glenn W. Clark with its first Elma J. Smith Award at the organization’s 30th anniversary celebration on Friday, November 6, at the Polish Home.

The gala will feature a prominent speaker, Dr. Daniel F. Ward, curator of the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse; with dinner catered by the Blue Moon Grill and served café style; raffles for special gift baskets; along with the highlight award presentation. Dave Bullard of Oswego County Today will serve as master of ceremonies.

The organization’s Elma J. Smith award, named in honor of the long-time volunteer, past president and museum coordinator, will be awarded to Mr. Clark who, along with his wife Eleanor, supported the organization over many years as a board member, volunteer and fund raising leader.

According to the organization’s co-presidents, Sarah Conley and Paula Rohn, “Glenn Clark has been a mainstay of the Friends of History, much in the tradition of our Elma Smith, working closely to stabilize and build the society. He is the unanimous choice of the 30th anniversary committee and the board of directors for this award.”

Criteria for the Smith Award are “distinguished and long-term contributions to Fulton history by an individual or an organization.” These contributions may be in the areas of public education, writing and research, historic preservation, philanthropy and service to the museum.

Awardee Clark retired as superintendent of Fulton Public Schools in 1976 after a 35-year career in education in central and northern New York but has remained an active member of the local area community. He is a trustee emeritus of Fulton Savings Bank, having served as an active trustee from 1962 to 1990. Along with his service as a board member of the Friends of History for several years, he has served on the boards of the Oswego County Historical Society, the Greater Fulton United Way, as a volunteer at A. L. Lee Memorial Hospital, and as an officer of the New York State Retired Teachers Association.

As a result of his military service in World War II in France and later in Korea, Clark was awarded the French equivalent of the Medal of Honor earlier this year and named a “Chevalier” (Knight) of the Legion of Honor.

He currently serves as vice president of the Resident’s Council at Bishop’s Commons in Oswego where he and Mrs. Clark have resided since last year. The Clarks have two children, two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Guest speaker Dr. Daniel Franklin Ward is curator at the Erie Canal Museum and the author of several books and articles. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Bowling Green State University and an M.A. from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. He will speak on progress on “A Video Oral History of the Erie Canal” project being undertaken by the museum in collaboration with City Lore and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Documenting life along the Erie Canal, the state-wide collection project will result in a physical exhibit that people can visit at the Erie Canal Museum and a cyber exhibit that can be visited on the World Wide Web from anywhere in the world.

Dr. Ward will discuss the scope of the work in progress and will, for the first time, share some of the video documentation from the project.

The Friends of History celebration is open to the public and the cost is $30 per person. Reservations are required and tickets may be ordered by calling the Friends of History at 598-4616.

The anniversary celebration committee is being co-chaired by Conley and Amy Tresidder, with a committee made up of Angela Bernat, Sue Brown, Jean Lewis, Rohn, Ed Vayner, Janet Weldin, and Steve Wise.

The Friends of History in Fulton have sponsored fund-raisers throughout the years to help maintain the organization’s ongoing exhibition and educational programs and the house. The house was purchased by the historical society in 1979, saving it from potential demolition. The society is dedicated to preserving the house as a museum and home for memorabilia and artifacts from the greater Fulton area.