Article from the Register-Pajaronian
by Todd Guild & Erik Chalhoub

During its 77-year history, the Pajaro Valley Historical Association has served as a repository for Watsonville’s memories.

The organization’s volunteers spend hours categorizing and storing memorabilia such as photos, vintage clothes, newspapers, yearbooks and hundreds upon hundreds of other items; the flotsam and jetsam that tells the story of South County.

Now, the PVHA has been named Organization of the Year.

PVHA Board chair Judy Doering-Nielsen said she was “shocked and amazed” when she learned of the award. “I said, ‘Thank you so much,’” Doering-Nielsen said. “‘This is wonderful news, this is terrific.’”

“It’s a fabulous community organization, and it’s wonderful that it’s being recognized,” she added.

Doering-Nielsen said the award is a testament to the people who work there.

“The thing that makes PVHA work is the fabulous volunteers that put in countless hours,” she said.

Volunteer Louis Arbanas said that people come from as far away as Virginia and Croatia to delve into PVHA’s archive.

“After 77 years of being unknown in the community, our presence is being picked up,” he said. “It’s been a period of positive growth for us, and it’s unique because we are a community museum and archive.”

Doering-Nielsen noted that the organization is always looking for new volunteers.