It’s possible that Bonnie Elliser’s career path with Metro Parks may be among some of the most varied in the agency’s history.
Bonnie first joined the staff in 1991 as a grounds crew member at Wapato and South Park. At the time, she was in the process of becoming a Master Gardener. Like so many others, Bonnie’s career began under the famed “Smitty’s” tutelage.
She was assigned to work full-time at South Park not too long after she was hired. It wasn’t much later that she was asked if she would like to move inside the center, assisting with custodial duties. Shortly after that she started working weekend rentals and customer service.
Among her favorite memories at South Park was creating events, like Breakfast with Santa and the Halloween Monster Mash Bash – a haunted house which became so popular that the line would wrap around the building as people eagerly waited to get in. Both events were held annually for nearly 20 years.
Bonnie shifted from weekends to weekdays and supervised the South Park Community Center for about a year and a half after a pair of her supervisors who had time-shared the position moved on to other things.
When the Specialized Recreation program moved from Manitou Center to South Park Bonnie transitioned back to customer service and assisted with reconciling the books for our other community centers. She became the lead customer service representative for about 7 years until the staff all transitioned to the newly built STAR Center. At that time she made yet another career shift and began working with as a member of the FAB (Fifty and Better) staff.
Bonnie has spent the past 8 years of her career with us hosting travel adventures for over 400 active older adults who participated in the FAB program. She most enjoyed planning and accompanying the tours throughout the northwest. Her favorites included Fraser Downs in Surrey, BC – although after getting stuck in a snow storm on their return trip she decided that venture should not be done in the winter months. Other favorites included trips to Long Beach for the annual kite festival and Sandsation, visits to Paradise and Sunrise at Mount Rainier, and the Tulip Festival in La Connor.
Bonnie looks forward to hitting the open road again once there is a vaccine for COVID. She purchased an RV not long ago and looks forward to in-state destinations like the ocean and Lake Chelan. She plans to stick fairly close to home since she will travel solo for the most part…it will be quite a change from the miles she’s logged onboard the bus with her hundreds of FAB traveling companions.
The post Bonnie Elliser to Retire after nearly 3 decades with Metro Parks appeared first on Metro Parks Tacoma.