Each month we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) — those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to the Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful.
This month, we spotlight Clare Wagner, a dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens Board Member. Clare, as part of the Membership Committee, did a fabulous job on the New Member’s Handbook. She directed the whole project, and it is a fantastic and invaluable resource on anything you would like to know about VRG and the Friends.
We asked her these three questions:
1. How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend?
I had read articles about Robinson Gardens in local publications probably starting in the early 2000s, so I knew it existed and that it was considered a very beautiful place to visit. Then in 2006, I had an opportunity to actually visit the Gardens with a LACMA group. Unfortunately, I had to cancel at the very last minute. But, from then on, my curiosity was peaked, and I was determined that I would visit someday. A few years later, I joined as a Society member and got to see the gardens for the first time when I volunteered to assist at the Children’s Holiday Party, now the Children’s Science Fair. From then on, I was hooked and shortly thereafter joined the Friends.
2. What’s your role – How do you contribute to VRG?
I have played a wide variety of mostly behind the scenes roles for both Garden Tour and Gala Committees including secretary and managing the timeline. Last year and this year too, I will be working closely with other Friends to staff the private gardens and the Estate for Garden Tour. Shortly after joining and until just recently, I was responsible for sending out the e-birthday cards to the Friends. I have been the Chair for Society Membership and am currently the Friends Membership Chair. I am also a member of the recently formed Membership Committee. This Committee really had a lot of fun together while at the same time working hard to write a New Members’ Handbook and do a major revamp of the Society Member brochure. I can’t stress the importance of getting involved in the many volunteer opportunities offered here at the Gardens. Whatever your interests are, there is a job for you. Personally, I believe that getting involved is the very best way to experience the full beauty of the Estate and Gardens.
3. Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?
Oh heavens, no. There are far too many to pick just one. I love attending the Educational programs, not to mention the lunch that follows. Seeing the Estate in all of its holiday glamour in December and seeing it again in May bursting with springtime blooms each year are another two. I absolutely adore visiting with the gargantuan cranes on the Great Lawn. I’m working on naming them; perhaps Virginia and Harry would be appropriate. And our duck pond in the King Palm Forest is such a fun and attractive addition. Seeing all these wonderful things and being involved – although just a little bit – in making them happen makes for fabulous VRG memories.