Shining the Spotlight on Our 2024 Volunteers

March 25th, 2024 News and Events


Each April, we take a moment to recognize the hundreds of volunteers who help us provide a truly unique experience to thousands of visitors at Washington Crossing Historic Park. This year, they have contributed more than 4,000 hours to educational and public programs. Volunteers are vital to our operations, providing special event support to tours, education, and reenactments. There are a few volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help us in our mission to preserve our historic site. Our Volunteer Awards were given out at our volunteer picnic in September. Since then, two of the award recipients have passed away, but their legacy still lives on. Please join us in celebrating our 2024 honorees:

Volunteer of the Year – Marilyn Konicky

Marilyn Konicky first started volunteering at the park alongside former Volunteer of the Year Judi Biederman in 2021. Since then, she’s worked tirelessly with Judi and Gift Shop Manager Connie Unangst to restock the gift shop and assist with Visitor Services on Monday mornings. She’s learned multiple Colonial Days stations and helped at events. With all these activities, Marilyn contributed nearly 125 volunteer hours in 2023. Marilyn is also a member of the Washington Crossing chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and assisted with our “Constitution Compendium” partner project in 2021. Executive Director Jennifer Martin said “Marilyn has done amazing work over the last few years and really immersed herself in many facets of the park. I have genuinely enjoyed getting to know her better. The 250th anniversary of the Crossing will be here before we know it, and it means a lot to see people like Marilyn working to ensure the park is an important destination.”

When asked about the recognition, Marilyn said “I’m stunned, thrilled, humbled, and so very appreciative of this wonderful honor!  Thank you very much for recognizing me with this award; it means a great deal to me. Hopefully [the staff/the Friends of Washington Crossing Park] know how much I enjoy each minute I spend volunteering at the Park- it truly is one of the greatest joys and blessings in my life, and something I look forward to every week. I strongly feel that I have been given a great gift from the Park to be able to learn more about our country’s history, to contribute to our community, and to interact each week with people who passionate, innovative, and dedicated to the Washington Crossing Historic Park.”

Judi Biederman, Volunteer of the Year in 2016 who encouraged Marilyn to start volunteering, added, “I’m so proud of Marilyn!”

Rising Star – Jim Reynolds

The Rising Star award is for someone who has been with organization for two years or less. This year’s recipient is Jim Reynolds, who began volunteering at the Thompson-Neely Farmstead in 2022. Jim contributed nearly 145 hours throughout 2023. Farmstead Manager Ross Heutmaker says “Jim has been a great asset to the park since he started volunteering regularly with the animals. In addition to a weekly shift feeding and looking after the sheep, he has been willing to step up and help with all sorts of projects, from fence repairs, to tree planting, to hoof care, to masonry work. His expertise at woodworking and blacksmithing contributed to park projects like replacing the barn doors and crafting hinges, latches, a boot scraper, and even a replica historic shed for use at the farmstead. He is a pleasure to work with and I look forward to working on more projects together!”

Jim Reynolds responded, “Thank you for the kind but unnecessary special recognition. I always feel like I get more than I give from volunteering and Ross, Anna and others I have worked with have been an absolute pleasure.”



Junior Volunteer of the Year – Daphne Hrabar

The Junior Volunteer of the Year is reserved for volunteers under the age of 18. Volunteering at the park runs in Daphne Hrabar’s family. Her mom Lindsay Craig was recognized as our Rising Star in 2022. Nearly 13-year-old Daphne started with the Fife & Drum Corps in 2022 as a fifer. In just a year, she’s become a vital member of the Corps. Without her mom’s hours, Daphne contributed 70 hours throughout 2023. Fife and Drum Corps Coordinator Stacy Roth said “Daphne’s award is so well deserved! Not only does she apply herself diligently to learning our repertoire and participating in our events with enthusiasm, but she is a delight to know. Everyone in the Corps enjoys that she is a member of our musical fellowship!”

Lindsay Craig, Daphne’s mom, said, “Thank you for this! Daphne is so excited!”

Jennifer Martin, Executive Director, added, “We are so excited to have [Lindsay Craig] and
Daphne on our team! In less than a year’s time the amount of volunteer hours she’s committed is really commendable, especially for someone her age. A big thank you to both [Lindsay Craig] and Stacy Roth [Fife and Drum Coordinator] for stewarding her interest in the park and the Fife and Drum Corps!”

Outstanding Leadership – Daniel “Larry” Rubini (1946-2023)

The Outstanding Leadership award is given to someone who has shown particular dedication and leadership on at an event, program, or project. Larry Rubini was a longtime volunteer, member, and great friend of the Friends of Washington Crossing Park. Larry’s volunteer service to Washington Crossing Park included serving as an ambassador for our Annual First Crossing Event Narrator, Memorial Day Ceremony Coordinator, and reenactor with Glover’s Marblehead Regiment for all of our public living history programs. In 2017 Larry received the Patriot Award for his dedicated service as the chair of the FWCP Reenactors Operations Committee, which organizes the park’s annual crossing reenactments and Memorial Day ceremony. He has also helped the Friends group engage active and retired military veterans and promotes the park as a destination for military units.

FWCP President John Godzieba shared that “Larry had been a supporter of the FWCP for over a decade and could always be counted on for very detailed timelines for every event he was part of. He was especially proud of our annual Memorial Day Event at the soldiers’ gravesite which he helped to build up from a small group of reenactors and veterans to an event that hosts several hundreds of local visitors and participants. As a retired US Army Colonel, Larry was active in many local veterans’ organizations and always rallied them to support this event. Larry would spend countless hours on participant communication, timelines, and rehearsals and would always be running around in the morning making sure the setup was perfect.” Larry is greatly missed by our team but his impact and memory continue to live on at the park.

Outstanding Long-Term Service – Ted Huesken (1951-2023) and Sue Huesken

The Outstanding Long-Term Service award is presented to a person, couple, or organization who has been with park for at least seven years. Longtime volunteer Ted Huesken passed away in December 2023. Ted had been a member of Washington’s Guard as part of our annual Crossing events for 35 years. He and his wife Sue ran Rancocas Merchant, which sells replica items like stoneware and others. Rancocas Merchant was a regular fixture at our annual events including the 4th of July Living History Day.


Executive Director Jennifer Martin said “it really has been an honor to serve the park with Sue and Ted. We are so grateful to have had them as part of our FWCP family.” Sue and Ted are a vital part of the park and Ted is much missed.

Sue Huesken, Ted’s wife, responded, “Thank you to [the Friends of Washington Crossing Park]. We are honored to be recognized.”