Our featured volunteer for the month of November is a regular presence around the Arboretum. Tom Mencer, chair of our Botanical Brewfest works hard all year preparing for what has become one of the most renowned beer tastings in our area. This year’s event saw a record number of 1,400 guests, and 1,129 tickets sold, and a net profit that has surpassed all preceding years. Tom started volunteering at the Arboretum in February 2014. He jumped right in, becoming involved with event planning for Nights at the Arboretum and the Botanical Brewfest. He is also a Greeter, Tour Guide and serves on the Bird and Train Committees. Tom states that what originally drew him here was the fact that he could come here after work and “de-stress”. He and his wife Kathy would occasionally come out to walk so he knew of the quiet tranquility at the Arboretum.
Tom worked in the Property and Casualty insurance industry for 39 years, the last 30 in claims management. Shortly after he retired, a friend talked him into coming to a New Volunteer Orientation, and thankfully, he stuck with it. When asked what makes him most happy, he says that spending time with family and friends, watching the grandkids grow up and watching basketball. He says he is a basketball junkie and that he doesn’t care who is playing as long as it’s a competitive game.
Tom is a great guy and a dedicated leader. He is generous with his time and recognizes the importance of community. He says, “I have met a lot of wonderful people at the Arboretum. They are people of all ages, both guests and volunteers. I would like to say thank you to all the volunteers who have worked the Botanical Brewfest. The event would not have grown into one of the premier fall events in our area without your help. Also, I have been fortunate to have a strong leadership team and excellent support of the Arboretum staff.”