Please accept this letter as my request to nominate Donna Lawson for the 2022 Commonwealth Heroine Award. I would like to offer this background information to support my nomination.
It was my honor to meet Donna approximately 25 years ago and form a lasting friendship. She was new to our neighborhood and immediately volunteered to fill a vacancy on the board for Long Pond Farms Association of which we both are still officers. She serves in the capacity of Vice President and has held this position for 20+ years. She gives generously of herself to assist in the operation of this association and spearheads the weekly water testing and signage at our beach.
Donna is the President of the Marstons Mills Village Association. In 2004, I was asked to Chair our biggest fundraiser – Village Day. I replied, “Only if Donna Lawson will Co-Chair with me!” Eighteen years later, we are still at it – successfully raising money for our MMVA scholarships. This would have been impossible without her help and involvement – before, after, and during this event. In 2020 and 2021 (due to Covid) we were unable to have our fundraiser but she personally solicited and raised enough money for MMVA to award thousands of dollars in scholarships.
The historical Burgess House in Marstons Mills was set to be demolished by the town. Donna was amongst the group of volunteers who restored the building. To this day, you can personally see Donna on site helping to maintain the grounds and wildflower gardens. No job is too big or too small for Donna who is also making sure the building is maintained 365 days a year.
This may seem like she has no social life, yet many other people and organizations benefit from Donna Lawson. Somehow Donna found time to lend a hand to an elder neighbor who had recently became a widow. For years, she regularly brought her to appointments, helped with meals and shopping, and was always there to assist her. Three years ago, her neighbor passed and now, Donna visits her and her husband’s graves and gently smiles and places flowers upon their stones.
And now let me tell you about her devotion to the Long Pond Community Garden. She organizes the plots, and helps the gardeners. A Master Gardener, she leads by example, this being her own dedicated garden she calls her “patchwork garden”. Within this garden, she grows the most beautiful flowers and then donates the majority of them. In a private manner, every week she brings hundreds of individual bouquets of flowers to the local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Previously, patients leaving the breast care center got a flower from an anonymous donor to lift their spirit, lovingly she is that anonymous donor. Now with Covid in recession, she is hoping to continue that practice again this year. Her idea of paying it forward! Her flowers are showcased in the village restaurants, shops, and our library. You can even see the beautiful bouquets in Barnstable town offices.
Two years ago our tiny village of Marstons Mills was wonderfully transformed. After many, many years of planning, through town and state funding, our Main Street was upgraded. She was the point person. Every day she worked her magic meeting with the business owners and the Town. This project could not have been completed so smoothly and beautifully without her tenacious determination.
Last year, Donna took it upon herself to place at the First Responders Appreciation and Fallen Heroes Rotary sixteen individual signs in honor of the 16 fallen sons and daughters from Cape Cod and their Golden Star Families. Plus, in the spring she intends to plant flowers in memory of these fallen heroes.
And just last week, MMVA was asked to help with the placement of flags at the local cemetery. Within two days, Donna had a group ready and this Veteran’s Day flags will be positioned to honor our Veterans.
Donna’s actions speak loudly while she is quiet and calm and gives 110% always. It gives me great pleasure to submit this letter in support of Donna Lawson’s nomination.
In closing, I would be remiss in not mentioning that along with everything that has been outlined above, Donna’s greatest title is that of Grandma and soon to be Great Grandma.
Thank you in advance for reviewing this request for nomination.