Lake Junaluska, N.C. – Throughout the year, Lake Junaluska volunteers weed flower beds, usher at concerts, feed swans, lead Bible studies, pick up trash, give historic boat tours and more.
Lake Junaluska held a breakfast on Thursday to honor more than 100 of those volunteers.
“We want to show our gratitude for the people who work behind the scenes to make Lake Junaluska a place where you experience transformation,” said Jack Ewing, the executive director of Lake Junaluska. “There are many unique things about Lake Junaluska, but one of the most unique is the number of volunteers and the number of hours that they give. This community is amazing.”
During the breakfast, which was held in the dining room of Lambuth Inn, several volunteers spoke about why they give back to Lake Junaluska and what they have learned through volunteering.
“We believe in the mission of this place, we love this community, we love the people here,” said Don Rankin, who with his wife Pat leads a group of volunteers to decorate the lake for Christmas each year. “Pat and I are glad to be able to follow our dream, follow our mission and be volunteers here.”
Lake Junaluska staff also shared what the volunteers mean to them.
“All I have to do is put it out there that I need help, and it starts coming. The emails roll in and the phone starts ringing,” said Peggy Ledbetter, the volunteer coordinator at Lake Junaluska. “Thank you to everyone who has helped out over the years.”
Attendees at the breakfast included the Nomads (Nomads on a Mission Active in Divine Service), a group of people who travel and provide volunteer labor for United Methodist organizations across the country. Groups of Nomads have come to Lake Junaluska for the past 10 years for three-week work sessions in the spring and fall.
Members of the Junaluskans, a service group at the lake that does projects throughout the year, were also in attendance.
“The reason I volunteer here is because I’m compelled to do something,” said Diana Foederer, who puts out the Junaluskans newsletter, Lake Views and News, each month. “I know that I’m doing something that makes a difference.”
For more information about volunteering at Lake Junaluska, please visit www.lakejunaluska.com/volunteer.
Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit www.lakejunaluska.com.