Programs sometimes come together effortlessly. At other times, gathering information or confirming details can feel like herding cats. Then there is the program that seems to drop out of the sky and into our laps.
Such was our experience last week that began with an intriguing email message from formidable community organizer and woman of many talents, Mary Weller, asking me to call her about an “idea.” When Mary has an idea, you want to hear it!
An early morning conversation brought me up to speed on Central Wisconsin’s upcoming final 2011 Honor Flight. Mary and her husband, Bob, had been key players in this important endeavor and had gotten to talking about the spouses who stay behind while the veterans spend an action-filled and exhausting day in Washington.
Mary asked: could something be planned for the spouses at the Woodson Art Museum?
That’s all it took. A simple question.
Mary and I ran through possibilities and within minutes I had notes and a to-do list.
With the Museum closed to the public on Monday and the staff at work, it would be an all-hands-on-deck day that required everyone to play a role from set-up to lunch prep and serving and from greeting our guests to facilitating discussion in the galleries and overseeing watercolor painting.
We were on the case, ready to go.
The program went off without a hitch on Monday, October 17. Two dozen-plus Honor Flight spouses arrived at the Museum with smiles, eager for their own adventure. Following lunch in the gallery, Museum staff and SPARK! friends engaged in conversations that resulted in poems, stories, and memory sharing. The experience concluded with art making – something to take with, mementos of their day.
The returning veterans would certainly have lots to tell their partners, and following their afternoon at the Woodson Art Museum, the Honor Flight spouses would have stories to tell, too.
Some programs are just meant to be.