Volunteer Award Winner:
Docent - 2000
Always willing" is a phrase that recurs when describing Docent Volunteer of the Year Addie Firnschild, by Volunteers and Staff alike. Docent Chairman Roz Gitlin concurs, "She has such a positive attitude, and she's always so friendly – a pleasure to deal with."
"I was always interested in the DIA, but having young children and other family obligations, I was unable to volunteer until 1980 when I joined the Staff Aides Committee. In 1981 I became a Gallery Aide (Gallery Information), so I guess you might say I learned the offices first, and then the galleries." Addie and her family moved to Houston in 1984. She decided to seek employment, and was hired by Rice University in their development office on the strength of her volunteer experience at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She returned to Michigan in 1987, at which time she enrolled in the Docent training program.
One of her favorite "Docent stories" is about the nun who was a school chaperone, and after the tour tried to give Docent Firnschild money. She told the nun she couldn't accept the money, as she was a volunteer. The nun asked if she would accept a personal blessing, which she did. That afternoon Addie made an impossible shot on the golf course, and instantly thought, "That blessing really worked!"
Family is one of the most important things to Addie. She is married to retired Dr. Paul Firnschild, and is the mother of John Ziegler, Laura Seaver, Lisa Kustas and Adeline Johnston. She is the extremely proud grandmother of four, soon to be seven grandchildren. She only wishes they lived closer.
Addie has served in many positions on the Docent Board, is a member of the Day Away With the DIA Committee, as well as serving in several capacities on the Volunteer Board of Directors. She is currently in charge of the Volunteer trip to L.A. She is also a member of HospitalityDIA.
As if the DIA didn't keep her busy enough, this involved Grosse Ile citizen is President of the Grosse Ile Book Club, member of the Grosse Ile Musicale, past President and Board Member for Women's Golf Activities at Grosse Ile Golf and Country Club.
When asked what keeps her coming to the museum, she shot back, "Oh' I get so much more out of volunteering than I give. And of course, the volunteers …they're dependable, giving and extraordinary people!"
--Submitted by Dorothy Cartwright
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