MILLBURY, Mass. - Thursday afternoon the Asa Waters Mansion was a virtual beehive of activity. There was a Children's Tea scheduled for approximately 1:30 p.m. where kids were treated like royalty with cakes, pies, pastries and refreshments served in the mansion's finest dinnerware.
Prior to that one of the Friends of the Asa Waters Mansion younger members, Tim Born from Martin Street, read a book to the group of youngsters, "The Old House" written by Pamela Duncan Edwards and illustrated by Henry Cole.
A throng of guests is nothing new to the mansion, it's that way regularly as people hold corporate events, parties and weddings at the mansion all the time. Part of it is the beautiful backdrop the mansion offers both inside and out. But the other part is the wonderful staff that volunteers for every event. It is an extremely large staff of dedicated volunteers that gives of itself constantly. Everywhere you turn in the mansion, there are the many, smiling volunteers who are always helpful and eager to please.
Being National Volunteer Month, today was a great day for the mansion to show what it's about to the guests and the book chosen to be read was an apt one.
"The Old House" tells the story of an old house that's been empty far too long; shutters hang and the porch droops. The children of a family see the potential in the wonderful old home when their parents buy it. It.s a story about the deep connections between homes and families and it is about the Asa Waters Mansion more than any other place that one could imagine.
Tim Born did a bang-up job reading to the kids, keeping them enthralled until they all moved into the main function room. There the kids were greeted by the staff of the mansion who told them about what each of them do in volunteering there.
Longtime Friend of Asa Waters volunteer Sandy Cristo equated the mansion with the house in the book saying the mansion was at one time just like the house, but with all the volunteers it was brought back to the grandeur it now enjoys.
Each staff member talked about their function at the mansion in keeping with the volunteerism spirit. Dennis Hill cracked up the youngsters by telling them that after everyone is gone, his job is to clean the mess on the floors. Town Manager Bob Spain stopped by tell the kids about how valuable volunteers are to Millbury and how each could do their part in the future.
Asa Waters Director Catherine Elliot got the final word on volunteers and their role at events at Asa Waters. "As the Mansion's director I feel so fortunate that we have such a dedicated and talented group of volunteers to help support this historic mansion. We simply could not survive without them."
So the kids got a great, fun filled event on Thursday afternoon but also learned a valuable lesson at the same time, that giving of oneself is at times one of the most fullfilling of experiences. One need look only at the mansion to see that.