Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum's Pioneer Immersion Program will be fully funded for the next five years because of an $80,000 donation from Bonnie and Dan Huebner of Decorah.
"My late wife Bonnie and I both have been strong believers that education is central to Vesterheim's mission," Dan Huebner said. "All aspects of museum educational programming are important, but perhaps none more so than youth education, inspiring in our children a sense of history, exploring their connection to the past, and helping them see how to use the past to build a better future."
The Huebners have long been involved with Vesterheim. They were the primary donors in the renovation of Vesterheim's Westby-Torgerson Education Center in 2000. They established an endowment fund for major maintenance and improvements to that building, which is named for Bonnie Huebner's parents, Ben and Emma Westby Torgerson. Dan Huebner is a Vesterheim trustee.
The money being given by the Huebners will allow area fourth-graders to immerse themselves in the history and culture of 19th-century and early 20th-century immigrants.