For the City Times
By Angela Loucks, Volunteer Center Director
- Name: Audrey Bonney
- Nominating Agency: Arts Council of South Wood County
- Residence: Wisconsin Rapids
- Family: Audrey has two children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren
- Employment: currently works at Park Place Adult Day Services as their Accountant
- Hobbies and interests: knitting, crocheting, card crafts, reading, cooking/baking, and traveling.
Thinking about volunteering? The Arts Council of South Wood County is a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends! Just ask Audrey Bonney, who has been volunteering for the organization for seven years.
Audrey inadvertently began volunteering for the Arts Council 10 years ago when the organization shared a building with the Cultural Center (she was actually volunteering for the Cultural Center). “We would sell tickets for both organizations,” said Audrey. “When the Arts Council moved to its present location I was asked if I would be interested in volunteering for them. I was excited because I knew I would be working with the public. When there was a change in leadership, I took a break from volunteering. Then a few years later, I went in to purchase tickets and was asked if I wanted to come back to sell tickets again! I jumped at the chance and worked it into my schedule.”
Audrey sells tickets for shows that are booked at the Performing Arts Center (located at Lincoln High School). This can include any high school performances, children’s theatre performances, and anything booked by the Arts Council (such as Kids From Wisconsin). Audrey assists clients in finding the best seats that are available; and also helps the director, Sally Kissner, with any projects she needs help with.
In addition to volunteering at the Arts Council, she also prepares taxes for the AARP Tax Program, is a volunteer receptionist and travel hostess at the Lowell Center, and is the head of Stewardship and Finance at First English Lutheran Church.
“I like working with people and Sally is great to work for,” said Audrey. “I find that by volunteering you get the reward of making someone feel special. When you can make someone happy, you feel the happiness better than they do! They also make you feel special when they tell you what a good job you did for them.”
Audrey thinks the Arts Council is important because, “it brings in a nice variety of entertainment for the community to enjoy. There are usually six shows a year. It gives the community a way to experience different kinds of music or entertainment. Last year we set up a dinner to go with a performance, which went very well – SO well that we will be having another dinner for one of the 2018/19 shows. This is one of the best ways to plan a night out with friends and family. And volunteering at the Arts Council is a fun way to get to know others and take care of their needs. If you can make just one person happy through volunteering, you have completed your job!”
A few years ago, while Audrey was volunteering, an elderly couple came in to purchase tickets and they became good friends. “A month ago, they came in to buy tickets and they brought me a plant too!” said Audrey. “I was flabbergasted… I wasn’t expecting that!”
Well it just goes to show, that you never know what can happen when you volunteer! To get involved in this – or other opportunities – contact the Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390 or visit our website at www.volunteerinnerwisc.org.
The Volunteer Center is an internal program of United Way of Inner Wisconsin. It serves as a clearinghouse for volunteers and agencies. Our mission is to mobilize and inspire people to utilize their talents and enhance the community.