Karen Wahlstrom has been with the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota since its inception. As a retired ECFE teacher, she knows the Power of Play and the impact it has on families all around the region. As an Ignite Society Member, she said the impact of the Museum for her is not only felt in the community, but for her as well.
“It celebrates the united effort of the people in our community that are working for the Museum,” she said. “It brings us together; I think it creates and maintains a level of interest in the Museum and that great community connection. It is extremely rewarding. I am also on the expansion committee and it is incredible to see how the community has embraced the Museum and how involved the community has been. The community has been there since day one,” Wahlstrom said.
Wahlstrom said she also has seen an added value service with the Baby Play Program.
“It is just another resource for young families. They come, ask questions and make connections. I even witnessed a couple of moms exchanging contact information, so maybe there’s even more connections being formed. Mayo Clinic Health System also sends residents to the Museum to be there for questions. It is another great partner that the Museum has in the community.”
Wahlstrom said the impact on the young families is also felt by the incredible staff at the Museum.
“One mom who came to Baby Play told me that she just loves coming to the Museum. And after coming to Baby Play for the second time, she told me that she couldn’t believe that the staff remembered her child’s name.”
So whether it is being involved in Baby Play, the expansion project, or helping to create ideas for exhibits, Karen Wahlstrom has been an integral part of the Museum from the beginning, and through her membership in the Ignite Society, will continue to have a impact for generations to come.