Staff Spotlight: La Don Lewin

La Don (left), with Homestead Director Karen Wade.
La Don (left), with Homestead Director Karen Wade.

La Don has been an active volunteer at the museum since June of 1999—fifteen years! During this period, she has amassed well over 3,000 volunteer hours. You may wonder what she laid her hands on to keep so busy. Because of her varied interests and talents, there is no short answer. Over the last few years, she has spent a huge amount of time pricing, stocking, and taking inventory in the Museum Store. Often on those same days La Don works as part of the collections care group, which helps set up and remove exhibits, clean rooms and objects, and complete special assignments.

Throughout her tenure, she has worked at many special events and has also helped with many jobs around the office, including bulk mailings, filing, and preparing materials for events. She has used her mighty scrapbooking skills to create albums showing volunteers in action and created an album of La Casa Nueva’s second floor for visitors to use. La Don has also been an avid attendee of staff field trips and helps us publicize our programs to Rosemead and San Gabriel, which she has done so for many, many years.

Please tell us about your first visit to the Homestead.

My husband, Jerry, was taking docent classes and wanted me to come and see where he would be volunteering. So, I came for a tour.

What caused you to begin volunteering here?

I was retired and looking for something besides volunteering at the Huntington Library and scrapbooking to occupy my time. By volunteering at the Homestead, I could also be with Jerry during special events and on field trips.

What are your favorite programs at the Homestead, and why?

I enjoy the special events. I don’t really participate in the programs like Journey [the school program]. When we did Rodeo prep, I helped with that, but we don’t do that kind of prep anymore.

How would you describe the Homestead to someone who has never visited the site?

If they were interested in history, I would tell them a little (from my very limited knowledge!) about that. Otherwise I would tell them what a beautiful and peaceful place it is to visit. I would tell them about the great docents we have and how much they can learn about local history from them.

What keeps you volunteering at the Homestead?

Mostly the people I work with and the beauty of the museum. I love working in La Casa Nueva with Michelle and the collections group and in the store with Robert.

Thank you, La Don, for sharing your thoughts, and to Programs Assistant Craig Chyrchel for contributing to this post.

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