Seasonal Newsletter
January | Winter 2021 Issue
Since our Fall Newsletter, the incidence of COVID-19 has been increasing rapidly in the Finger Lakes Region. Sadly, we felt that for the health of all concerned, we had to postpone our December 4, 2020 First Friday event featuring the popular Lipker Sisters until the region’s COVID-19 incidence has turned around. Stay tuned for the rescheduled event once our area’s positivity rate has sufficiently declined. All of us are excited that the vaccines are becoming available, but for now we continue to clean all areas touched by visitors, continue to have a mask mandate and continue to implement social distancing procedures. Meanwhile, staff and volunteers decorated the Museum beautifully so that we could feel some holiday spirit despite the restrictions. We were able to hold the Bedford Falls 11th annual gingerbread house contest with socially distanced small workshops and several families doing their own decorating at home. Our executive director, Rhonda Destino, delivered a beautiful baby girl in December. Our wish is that 2021 will be a year of positive change. Since Executive Director Rhonda Destino is on maternity leave, her assistant Marsha VanDusen, who is capably holding the fort in Rhonda’s absence, is reporting on Museum happenings this quarter.
Assistant to the Executive Director’s Message
By Marsha VanDusen
New Staff Member: Teresa Gable, Program Assistant/Docent
Teresa Gable comes to us with an extensive background in Education. She taught 7th grade Life Science at the Seneca Falls Middle School and worked as the Public Health Educator for the Seneca County Health Department. Recently retired, she is looking forward to beginning her next career promoting tourism in the Finger Lakes Region. She lives in Tyre, NY, and has one adult child. She enjoys expressing herself creatively and finding unique places to explore.
2021 Membership Appeal:
The Seneca Museum of Waterways & Industry annual membership appeal is underway. Our community activities are partially funded by grants, but we depend on our memberships to help defray increasing costs of operation and activities. Some of the perks of being a member are a 20% discount on items in our gift shop, a quarterly e-newsletter, paid event discounts, member-only events, and advance notice of events. More importantly, your membership supports an important community resource! Please visit our website at for more information. In addition, membership information appears on the last page of the Newsletter, as always.

Board President’s Message
By Sheila Giovaninni
On behalf of our Board of Directors, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!

Our Executive Director, staff, and volunteers are gearing up for a year full of programs and events to engage, entertain, and educate. We invite you to visit our website at so you can plan your calendar accordingly. In fact, sign up on our website and we will see to it that you stay informed!
In addition to our schedule of events and programs this year, we are excited to partner with the Delevan family to create a new exhibit highlighting the contributions of the founders of the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry. 
Although New York State has ‘paused’ the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative), we are hopeful that discussions will resume later this year.  As a reminder, the Seneca Falls Heritage and Tourism Center was selected by the local planning committee for DRI consideration. We remain positive and excited about our proposed transformation of the Visitor Center, the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry, and Boaters’ Amenities.
Other highlights for the upcoming year will include additions to our staff, exploration of online educational opportunities, expanded social media presence, new partnerships, and the return of Summer Camp in a Box!
As always, we appreciate the support of our members and look forward to seeing all of you soon!
Ages 3-8
Ages 9 - 13
Adult 14 and over
Bedford Falls Gingerbread House Contest
By Judy Pipher, Board Member

Although the Gingerbread House Contest had fewer entries this year because of the pandemic, (29 as opposed to more than 50 last year) there was no diminution in quality.

New staff member Teresa set up 3 tables for the age groups 8 years old and younger; 9-13; and adult (14 and above). 

All who came to vote on their favorites commented favorably on the displays this year. 

Board member Wendy Sparks and I made 27 houses to decorate, and there were a few entries with houses built at home.

And the winners are:
3-8 years old Harper Tanner and Grayson Kinsley
9-13 years old Maddox McCully
14 and above (adult) Casey Powless

We thank the following vendors for providing prizes, or a gift card to purchase prizes for all the children and special prizes for the winners: Wegmans Geneva; TOPS Seneca Falls; Walgreen’s Pharmacy Waterloo; Kinney Drugs Seneca Falls; Walmart Waterloo. Congratulations to all the contestants!
Fundraiser Updates 2021
by Cheryl Terryberry
Development Committee co-chairs, Jim Terryberry and Cheryl Terryberry, with their committee members have solidified plans for fundraising events and activities for 2021. Since they take place later in the year, and the first two are outside, we have high hopes that we can proceed with them. Seneca Falls Country Club has confirmed the first annual Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry golf tournament for Wednesday June 6, and the Winemaker’s Dinner for Friday October 1. Ace Automatics (formerly Manhill Food Service) has confirmed our chicken barbecue for Saturday June 19. It will be held at Five Star Bank parking lot, located at 1940 Routes 5&20, Waterloo.
Staying Connected With Us
There are several ways to stay connected with us and find out what is next for our programming, events, exhibits, and our space. Please become a member, become a volunteer, donate, like us on Facebook, read our website blog, and join us at our events. You can find out how to do all of these things on our new website: Please find the membership and volunteer information below.
Membership and Volunteers
Like all non-profits, SMWI needs YOU – as a volunteer and as a member in order to fulfill our Mission and Vision. Memberships may be paid via check or credit card to: Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry, PO Box 388 Seneca Falls, NY, 13148. If you prefer, you may also pay via credit card over the phone (315-568-1510) or in-person at 89 Fall St. Seneca Falls. Please, know that your Membership is greatly appreciated!

Membership Level:
Individual $35  Family $50  Junior $10  Veteran $25  

Mission Statement: The Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry is dedicated to captivating and educating audiences of all ages with the village’s rich industrial and waterways industry.

Vision Statement: The Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry will be the gateway to the community, providing interactive and engaging experiences for all visitors.