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Volunteering: A Family Affair at Beckman Mill

May 28, 2019

Volunteering at Beckman Mill is a family affair for recent Blackhawk Technical College Radiography graduate, Melissa Castro. Since she was a child, she has accompanied her grandparents, Sheri and Jim Disrud, to serve at the Mill. There are no paid positions within the Beckman Mill community. Therefore, the Mill is dependent on volunteers for the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and grounds. So, when the Medical Imaging Student Organization was deciding on a community service project, this was the perfect match.

“Since my sister and I were small children, our wonderful grandparents have involved us (sometimes involuntary) with volunteering for the Beckman Mill,” said Castro. When her grandparents hosted Heritage days in the fall, the sisters were able to run the soda stand and eventually promoted to the dessert table which featured various tasty treats made by volunteers from scratch.

Castro and Radiography instructor Ali Liezert are hopeful that this will become an annual service project for the department. “Our students really benefit from community service. It is important for them to get involved and give back to the communities in which they live and work,” said Liezert.

Castro’s personal connection to the Mill led to the group participating in a spring beautification project on the grounds of the park. Students did yard work, cleaned buildings and performed some basic maintenance duties. “It was great to see the students roll up their sleeves and work together in our community, said Liezert.

Beckman Mill is always seeking younger volunteers to get involved. “Unfortunately, the younger generation isn't as willing to volunteer. And to be honest, the aging volunteers are just not able to do the upkeep that is needed,” said Castro. “More people need to get involved so the Beckman Mill will not become a dying historical marker of our wonderful state.”

If you would like more information on volunteering, visit

About Beckman Mill
Beckman Mill is located at Beckman Mill County Park, 6 miles west of Beloit, Wisconsin. The mill was built shortly after the Civil War by millwright William Howe of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. In 1882, it was acquired by August Beckmann who had previously operated mills in nearby Juda and Hanover. The mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. There are many attractions on the grounds of the 50-acre county park; including an authentically restored 1868 grist mill, mill pond, fish ladder, visitor center, creamery, blacksmith shop, vintage garden, nature trail and more. For more information about Beckman Mill, visit

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