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Volunteering trio are heartbeats, history keepers of Molino Community Center

Photo source: WEAR-TV

Just over five years ago, the spared Old Molino School reopened with a new purpose; as the Molino Community Center. The county redid the facility with a full library on site, a Head Start school, an exercise track and playground, a large event space and their very own museum. Now, it's volunteers who help keep the doors open and things running smoothly.

"We do the setups and everything for all the functions in the entire Historical Society side of the building," said Marty Lorenz, Molino Community Center volunteer.

Ian "John" King, Molino Community Center volunteer, said, "We'll set it up and we're here for them 24/7. I mean, we rent on weekends. I do have one rule; I can't open up on Sunday until after church."

Marty Lorenz and Carlos Hassebrock have deep family roots in Molino and even went to school in this building. They call Ian King the transplant but his wife was one of the ladies who helped save this building. Like at all of the community centers in the county, volunteers play a critical role in keeping things happening. These three buds take on that responsibility with great pride and commitment. Their added bonus is this absolute gem of a museum curated by the Molino Historical Society. It's a treasure they'd like more people to experience.

Carlos Hassebrock, Molino Community Center volunteer said, "The things that went on back in the days when timber was a big thing in this area. We've had doctors, banks, the fairgrounds where here at one time before they moved to Pensacola."

Back in the day, they say Molino was bigger than Pensacola. They boast the county's first car dealership.

King said, "Children come in here and they can't get past the phone booth because they've never seen one before."

"One day we had 400 students come through. That was fun. It's just that way. We meet people. We get to tell them how we lived," Lorenz said.

It's a virtual stroll down memory lane for the seniors who come on tour.

"They tell you stories when they see some of the items here in the museum that they grew up and used when they were kids," Hassbrock said.

No matter the age, these three friends would love to have you come visit the Molino Community Center. They'll have the doors open for you.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.

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