Volunteer Keeps the Path Clear
By Beth Ensley, Development/Marketing Associate
From June through September nearly every year, Don Gazaway volunteers his time, energy, riding tractor, and weed eater, taming the fast-growing thorny blackberries, stinging nettles, and tall grasses along the dirt paths, steep banks, and parking lot areas. Keeping the paths cleared at Warm Beach Camp is a challenging project. Thanks to Don’s dedicated labor, many campers and visitors are able to more fully enjoy the winding paths and quiet, wooded solitude at WBC.
Friends to the camp for 50 years, Don and his wife, Joyce, have roots in the Free Methodist Church that run deep: They grew up in strong Christian homes, attending FM churches, and met while attending Seattle Pacific College (now University).
Among the earliest WBC lease lot owners, they chose their first treed lot in 1956, not long after the property was purchased and became Warm Beach Camp. In 1995, these retired teachers became part-time residents on their lot along W-Bar-B Road. Here they reside in their fifth-wheel RV during the summer months, away from their winter Sky Valley home in Desert Hot Springs, California.
The Gazaways are woven into the WBC heritage in many ways, and the family camping background and commitment is long-standing. Joyce, her dad, and aunt worked at the old Burlington FM camp location for years. Joyce’s brother is John Glancy, a member of the Camp’s Board of Directors, and this couple – along with her sister and husband, and brother and wife – recently memorialized one of the rooms at the newly dedicated Mt. Baker cabins at Warm Beach.
Volunteering and family heritage are only part of the story, however. Don and Joyce are also quite the team when it comes to making quilts! Don measures and precision-cuts the fabric pieces, while Joyce sews and quilts the project to completion. Some quilts have made their way into the Extravaganza auction at the Camp, while others have gone to family and friends through the years. Ask them to show you some of the photos of their many and varied quilts; they are colorful, complex, and creative! Ever heard of the Azteca Rose quilt pattern? Don assures us that this was the most complicated appliquéd quilt ever constructed by Joyce and him.
Quilt: A cover made of two layers of fabric stitched together with an interior padding of cotton held in place by decorative intersecting seams. Don and Joyce’s lives make a wonderful analogy to a quilt. The two layers of fabric represent each of them; the cotton padding holds the life experiences shared together; and the decorative intersecting seams are the visible evidences of God’s colorful, intricate handiwork weaving them together – all of it reflecting His presence and purpose in their lives.
The Gazaways’ servant hearts demonstrate love and dedication to God. They firmly believe the Lord has brought them both through deep waters over the years, and He has always been faithful. We’re glad their heritage has been long and faithful, not only to the Lord, but also to Warm Beach Camp.