Donna Rogers

Q: How long have you been volunteering at NABC?

A: I was probably the first volunteer. I have been volunteering since before the North American Bear Center opened.

Q: What motivated you to volunteer at NABC?

A: The North American Bear Center had been a dream Lynn had since we were married.

Q: What do you do as a volunteer?

A: In the beginning there weren’t a lot of volunteers so I did repairing, painting, fixing, planting, cashiering. I did the things I could do. I still do whatever I can to help out. I am working on the flowerbeds right now. My favorite thing is to talk to the visitors. It’s important to answer their questions and listen to them. They all have a story. I do what I can to help them have a good time visiting the Bear Center. People want to see bears so sometimes I will lure Lucky with a peanut so they are sure to see a bear.

Q: Is there one memorable experience you’ve had as a volunteer?

A: Oh, it’s hard to pick just one! Before the Center opened we had just put on seven coats of wax on the new tile floor. It took forever. There was a heavy snow day followed by a warm April day. The guard on the back door failed overnight and when we came in the next morning the water was four inches deep on the new wax! We worked all night vacuuming the water and running fans to save the wax. It worked and we were able to open as scheduled ! At that time there were so few exhibts they all fit into the Children’s Room!

Another time I was talking with a couple from Iowa. They had come to Ely and the Bear Center to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. They were such a special couple. I was able to find a piece of cake for them to help their celebration!

Q: What would you like volunteers to know about you?

A: I do love the NABC. I have many fond memories of the bears. I have two beautiful daughters and three grandchildren. I grew up with five brothers and my grandmother. My other volunteer work is with the Ely Food Shelf.

I stay active by walking, skiing, running, canoeing. I am a member of the Ledgerock Church. And, I really enjoy going out with Lynn!