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Historical Village spotlights some of its volunteers

By Staff | May 15, 2019

Bill Rahe

At the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, the duties of the volunteers run the gamut, from greeting guests at the door, to working in the store and giving tours, to farming the pioneer garden.

“Particularly now, as we say goodbye to many of our volunteers as they head up north for the summer, we’d like to both recognize our volunteers’ contributions and share with the community what it means to be part of the historical village family,” Executive Director Emilie Alfino said. “Volunteering at the village is a great opportunity to be part of a committed, dedicated – and fun – group.”

The following are some of the faces visitors to the village may meet:

– Bill Rahe started volunteering in 2017. From Indianapolis, Indiana, and Raleigh, North Carolina, he is on the island seven to eight months a year. Rahe got to Sanibel the same way many people did – he visited friends for several years and liked it. Prior to moving to Sanibel, he worked in management and also volunteered as a school board member and with Junior Achievement, United Way and his church.

At the village, Rahe serves as a tour guide and as vice president on the board of directors. He said Rutland House is his favorite because it reminds him of his grandparents’ home. Rahe is also intrigued by the story of the lighthouse. He said he chooses to volunteer at the village because he “likes to study history, preserve it, share it and learn from it.”

Tracey Tenney

– Tracey Tenney started volunteering in 2017. She attended her first tour as a visitor in 2015 with docent and tour guide Jeri Magg. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Tenney owns a home in Andover, Massachusetts, where she lives four months out of the year. Prior to coming to Sanibel, she worked as an information technology professional for General Electric and Sprint. Throughout the years, Tenney was a software developer, project manager and senior software development manager.

At the village, she is a docent and prefers to be a tour guide. Tenney likes trying to help visitors imagine what life was like on a barrier island and how difficult the conditions were for the early pioneers. At the same time, Tenney explains how strong the sense of community was and still is.

– Georgianna Sorensen started volunteering at the village several years ago. Her main residence is in Lake Wales, where she has had a private mental health practice for over 30 years. Her office building is 100 years old and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Sorensen restored it and is very proud that the chamber of commerce made a Christmas ornament duplicating the front of the building.

She volunteers as a tour guide, roaming docent and Rutland House docent. Sorensen most enjoys learning from other volunteers and visitors. She names Morning Glories as her favorite building and said she would like to spend one night there.

Georgianna Sorensen