On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Bobbie Wolfe was recognized at the HandsOn Northwest Governor’s Volunteer Service Award Banquet for her outstanding commitment to volunteerism at Körner’s Folly.
Bobbie was recognized among a diverse pool of candidates from throughout Forsyth County who were nominated. In all, awards were presented to 11 recipients, out of nearly 30 nominees. Bobbie received the award in the “Individual Volunteer” category. The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards were first awarded by the Governor’s Office and it’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service in 1979. These awards honor citizens who have shown significant concern and compassion for their community through volunteer service.
Bobbie’s relationship with Körner’s Folly began back in 1970, when she and her family were among the original 26 families that banded together to save Körner’s Folly from the wrecking ball, and found the organization that is dedicated to preserving this landmark home.
Over the last 15 years, Bobbie has worked to develop a puppeteer program that strongly mirrors the Juvenile Lyceum founded at Körner’s Folly in 1896. Polly Alice Körner, the wife of the builder of Körner’s Folly, established the Juvenile Lyceum to give back to the youth of the community and establish a creative space for arts education. 120 years later, Polly Alice’s vision is still alive. The modern puppeteer program Bobbie has created embodies these same ideals of giving back to the community and creating a creative space for arts. This puppeteer program has grown and developed under Bobbie’s leadership and guidance. Bobbie had 6 puppeteers when the puppet show was first performed in 2001 and by 2003, it had more than doubled in size. Every year since 2003, the program has continued to grow averaging 12 new puppeteers each year. Today, the puppeteer program averages 75 people annually. Over 80% of our puppeteers are ages 8-14 and come from Kernersville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Walkertown, and High Point. Groups from all over the triad come each year to see the puppet show and take a children’s tour, and every elementary school in Kernersville regularly bring their 1st grade classes to Körner’s Folly for a field trip. These successes are a direct result of Bobbie’s initiative to share her passion for this piece of local history.
Each year, Bobbie organizes and executes 10 monthly puppet shows, 20 children’s tours and puppet shows, 3 Christmas puppet shows, and holds multiple volunteer training sessions. She puts in over 150 hours annually with these programs by recruiting volunteers, training volunteers, scheduling puppet shows and tours, scheduling volunteers to perform and lead tours, coordinating and following up with teachers, and keeping in touch will all volunteers. Bobbie is also a valuable resource out in the community, talking about Körner’s Folly and encouraging others to either visit the house museum or become involved through volunteering. So many of our puppeteers and tour guides are volunteers because Bobbie personally recruited them. Bobbie has also done outreach to the local schools by fostering relationships with local teachers, discussing the importance of local history and encouraging them to bring their students for a field trip. Her magnetic personality and passionate energy for Körner’s Folly and the education programs she founded welcome school groups and volunteers alike.
Today, the education programs at Körner’s Folly serve 2,000+ students annually. Thanks to Bobbie’s dedication and commitment, Körner’s Folly is able to offer these educational programs year-round. Bobbie has given so much to our organization and the community over the past 15 years, and it is an honor to recognize her for her perseverance, dedication, and numerous achievements.
Are you interested in volunteering at Körners’ Folly? Check out the volunteer section of our website.
Are you interested in bringing a group for a children’s guided tour, puppet show, or field trip? Check out the education section of our website.