Hillary Weireter was named Docent of the Year and Maria Christopher was named Volunteer of the Year by the Rancho Camulos Museum board of directors Sunday, August 26.
The awards were presented during the organization's annual recognition barbecue on the museum's picturesque grounds.
Christopher has been volunteering since about 2003 at the museum where she often portrays the author Helen Hunt Jackson, who based many of the settings for her epic 1884 novel, "Ramona," on Rancho Camulos.
"Maria works hard to be an ambassador for Rancho Camulos in the community," board president Judy Triem said. "She is always seeking new opportunities to advance the museum's interests."
Triem said Christopher has handled media and marketing for the museum and has been involved in planning and directing many special events, including the museum's participation in the city of Santa Clarita's annual Cowboy Festival.
In addition to giving museum tours on weekends, Christopher, a Valencia resident, is the current president of the Heritage Valley Tourism Bureau in Ventura County.
Weireter was one of the museum's first docents (tour guides) and has helped with school group tours for many years, said Executive Director Susan Falck.
A descendant of the Del Valle family — onetime owners of Rancho Camulos and most of the Santa Clarita Valley — Weireter also organizes special museum events including Artists Day each spring.
"Hillary's kindness, gracious hospitality and willingness to pitch in and help on a variety of museum projects is inspiring," Falck said. "She is a pleasure to work with."
Weireter could be found in the museum kitchen Sunday, helping out at her own awards dinner. She recently joined the museum board.
The nonprofit Rancho Camulos Museum is located 10 miles west of Valencia on scenic Highway 126. Regular tour hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with tours starting on the hour. To book a wedding or other special event, call (805) 521-1501 or visit RanchoCamulos.org.
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. Photos by Leon Worden.