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Cindy Thury-Smith awarded Volunteer of the Year

Cindy Thury-Smith was chosen as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year. (Submitted photo)

Cindy Thury-Smith was chosen as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce.

For the past 15 years, Thury-Smith has been updating records, rebinding city council books for future historians, providing tours of City Hall and more as the curator of the Hastings Pioneer Room. When the city decided to cut the position in 2012 due to budget restraints, she decided to continue her work there as a volunteer.

According to the Chamber, Thury-Smith is a true historian at heart.

"City staff rely on her extensive knowledge of Hastings history to stay educated, and visitors delight in the opportunity to pick her brain," the Chamber wrote in a press release.

Thury-Smith said she was surprised to find out she had been recognized as Volunteer of the Year.

"That's very nice, it's very flattering," Thury-Smith said.

Hastings is one of very few cities in the state that have their own history museum, Thury-Smith said. Her favorite part of volunteering in the Pioneer Room is the research because she said she is always finding new information.

"We really do have a lot of information about this one little area," she said.

In addition to Thury-Smith's work in the Pioneer Room, she has also donated several quilts at The LeDuc Historic Estate. The last quilt she donated showcased needlework patterns that the LeDuc daughters used.

Heidi Langenfeld, another volunteer in the Pioneer Room, said Thury-Smith was very deserving of the award.

"She's not just a one-note lady, she does a wide variety of things for the community," Langenfeld said.

Thury-Smith volunteers with the Carpenter Nature Center, Friends of the Mississippi and the Hastings Environmental Protectors.

Thury-Smith will be recognized at the annual meeting and awards dinner Jan. 19 at Treasure Island Resort and Casino.

Read about the Business of the Year here:

Read about the Educator of the Year here:

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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