MOUNDRIDGE —Moundridge resident Leon Guhr has been serving on the board of the Moundridge Historical Association for so long that he admits it’s hard to recall the number of years it’s been — given the term limits and how that has spread out his service has been — but he is certain it’s been at least a decade.
The importance of preserving history is part of what got Guhr involved and he has done a little bit of everything in his time on the board, both in administrative roles (serving as secretary, treasurer and board president in the past) and with some of the daily maintenance the group helps out with once a week.
“We have a work day every Tuesday and that can involve anything and everything — cleaning the museums if we have a tour coming or changing exhibits out or moving things around. In summer, we have a lot of groundskeeping,” Guhr said. “There’s always work to do.”
Guhr is also heavily involved on the board of trustees at his church. As the lone retiree on that board, he can get called on for assistance quite a bit — often serving as the primary sound system operator for funerals and programs.
Since retiring, Guhr has backed off after serving for 26 years with the volunteer fire department in Moundridge and spending nearly as long as a certified Red Cross instructor.
In addition, he also spent time on the school board, city council and with the chamber of commerce.
Though he is not as heavily involved now, the importance of that kind of work is not lost on him.
“Volunteerism is big in a small town,” Guhr said. “If you don’t have volunteers, the town continuity doesn’t move as quickly.”
For Guhr, the decision to give back to Moundridge was personal.
It is a community he and his family have called home since 1972 and being a bigger part of that (as well as spreading that mentality) was always attractive to Guhr.
“...I like being around people. I’m not a loner. I like to know people; I like to associate with people. Getting involved in the community, getting to know your neighbors and to know people in your town, it’s just a way of connecting with your community” Guhr said. “I try to live that out, too. I try to recognize people; there’s a lot of volunteers, a lot of people doing good in every community. You want to recognize them; that’s encouragement. It keeps them knowing what they’re doing is a good thing, so keep doing it.”
Personal recognition is not why Guhr got into volunteering, Guhr is quick to downplay the many ways he helps out around Moundridge.
Though not an official volunteer, Guhr has done his part to help out during the Black Kettle Festival.
Guhr pitched in with the historical society’s parade floats and made sure its antique fire engine would be able to make the run in this year’s event. After noticing some wear and tear last year, he helped secure some new tires for the fire engine and got them replaced with some assistance from Cole Street Service.
“You don’t do it for the recognition — there’s a self-satisfaction — but when other people compliment you on what you’ve done and your contributions, that gives you a good feeling,” Guhr said. “It’s fun to see something get accomplished and not necessarily getting paid for it. Your reward is the satisfaction of seeing a job that’s well done and the betterment of the community or an organization or something like that.”