Swint takes up reins of OCC Historical Society

       Sharon Swint, a board member since 2003, is this year's president of the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS).

Sharon Swint

       Elected at the society's annual director-election meeting May 13, she replaced Phil McDonald, who had served as president for one year and chose to step down. He and Swint basically swapped director positions, he being elected to her spot as the board secretary.
       Swint said she hopes to expand the efforts of the nonprofit, all-volunteer organization to attract more people, especially younger folks, to the History Center (bookstore and museum) that the OCCHS owns and operates.
       “We've got to crack the code on how to get the word out there cheaply,” said Swint, who was the author of a 2009 illustrated book on the area's past, titled “Historic Photos of Colorado Springs.”
       She suggested such initiatives as greater use of electronic networking, more school visits and increased activities for families with children. Already in the works are enhancements to the society website, with plans to have historical artifacts and collections viewable on line.
       Also, the society, which has invited a wider scope of history than just the Westside in recent years, will continue that theme. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) presentation June 4 was an example of that, with an illustrated talk by three-generation Hill Climb driver/supporter Don Sanborn while a 1960s race car and the PPIHC's mobile museum were on display in the center's parking lot. An upcoming historical program will focus on the Air Force Academy property before it was owned by the Air Force, Swint said.
       Swint said the OCCHS has been fortunate to have volunteers in previous years who have given the OCCHS “a strong financial base,” but a concern is the center's building, which is over a century old and needs regular upkeep. For example, right now one of the furnaces needs to be replaced.
       In coordinating activities with her fellow volunteers, Swint can call on some of her business experience. Before retiring, she had worked in organizational capacities for a number of years in TV and radio.
       The OCCHS board has staggered terms, with about half the nine-member board up for election annually. This year's board election brought no other changes than the switch by Swint and McDonald, Remaining in the same posts are Jan de Chadendes as vice president, Johnie Jackson as treasurer and board members Jo Cervone, Beverley Disch, Tom Hendrix, Dave Murray and Suzanne Schorsch.

Westside Pioneer article