Dear editor:
We are writing this letter to publicly acknowledge Samantha Manty’s contributions to our community during her internship with the Fort Frances Museum.
Firstly, we should make clear that an internship is an exchange of services: a student works for the experience that he/she will gain while on site. No pay is given.
The museum was very fortunate, then, to have a graduating student from the Community Recreation Leadership program at Dawson College in Montreal apply here for a placement. A city with the cultural diversity of Montreal would have so much more to offer.
Luckily, Sam was born and raised here, and was glad of the opportunity to give back to her community.
Sam hit the ground running. On the second day on the job, she brought the museum into the modern age by putting it on Facebook. Every few days, she updated the page with historical trivia and what was happening at the museum.
She was truly excited to take on the snow sculpture event. The Hamiltons, with help from the business community, organized the event in 2012. The Mantys picked up the ball and carried it forward: dug the boxes out of the bank, put them together, and blew in the snow.
In addition, Sam and her team organized a winter event around the sculptures—a fun day that was enjoyed by many young families in our community.
Sam went on to organize a “like-new” clothing swap in conjunction with Earth Day. Both young and old welcomed the opportunity to exchange their little-used clothing and accessories.
Sam also collaborated on the Borderland Walking Tour, which will allow visitors to use QR codes to access a location’s past photos and history. She put together information packages and questionnaires, and visited many business owners along Scott Street to gauge interest.
So far, everyone sees the potential, not only for businesses but for our entire community.
In addition to the above projects, Sam volunteered her time in numerous ways—putting together food boxes one Wednesday, visiting the seniors at Rainycrest, and enquiring about programming at the UNFC.
She also attended two joint BIA-Chamber of Commerce meetings, as well as a town council session in support of community services.
Although only here for three short months, Sam put her time to good use wherever possible. Her genuine interest in the community and her willingness to get involved were marked.
Where Sam led–always with a warm smile and helping hands–others followed. Her enthusiasm was contagious.
In a community dealing with limited resources, it is truly wonderful to see that there are options. Samantha disdained the lack of budget, recruited volunteer help, and showed clearly what can be done with a little ingenuity and old-fashioned work.
She did not wait for things to happen, she made things happen. Wow!
Thank you, Samantha.
Bruce Caldwell
(On behalf of
the F.F. Museum
Advisory Committee)