It’s Volunteer Appreciation Month

Lee and Janet Downing (Photo by Jenna Jones)

Lee and Janet Downing (Photo by Jenna Jones)

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. Meet Lee Downing, a volunteer with the Smithsonian Associates since 1985.

As an Event Representative volunteer with The Smithsonian Associates since 1985, Lee Downing has helped host hundreds of educational Associates programs, be they lectures, book signings, receptions, and even in a pinch, our studio art classes. He seeks to volunteer wherever he is needed most. Lee is well respected by our Programming Staff, in part because of his delightful sense of humor and the funny stories he is apt to tell each time we work together. He is a “people person” who is very reliable and he interacts with our ticket holders with charm and grace.

Lee is a true “team player.” During the government shutdown last October, he and his wife, Janet (also an absolutely wonderful volunteer) stepped up and took on extra volunteer assignments when we quickly relocated programs to venues in Virginia. They really helped us keep our events going smoothly! A few months later they assisted with training our winter class of 21 new Event Reps by explaining the finer points in selling tickets to our audiences.

Last December Lee joined an ad-hoc committee of five Associates volunteers to help review our newly revised Event Rep handbook. His edits were very helpful as we finished our final draft. He is also a strong advocate in promoting our programs to new audiences. In March, he kindly offered to informally distribute about 125 copies of our monthly program guide to those who pass by the information desk at Crystal City’s mall, where he works full time in his “encore career” after spending 26 years in the Marine Corps.

Jenna Jones is the volunteer coordinator for The Smithsonian Associates.



Posted: 21 April 2014
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The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.