The D&L Blog

Delaware & Lehigh - Special Events & Program Volunteer Highlights

You may know about our D&L Trail and archive volunteer opportunities, and you may even know about our National Canal Museum volunteer opportunities, but did you know we also have special events and programs we utilize volunteers for? In this month’s Featured Volunteer article, we’ll highlight two volunteers that provide their time and skills to our organization. 

Meet Celeste Saunders

Celeste Saunders is an inspiring woman whose vibrancy motivates all those who are lucky enough to be around her. Celeste was one of the community members that came to our Volunteer Fair, an event we hosted to showcase our different volunteer opportunities. While she first thought she would be most interested in our D&L Trail opportunities, Education Manager Whitney Davison piqued her interest in our Education Volunteer opportunities. Our Educational programming ranges from helping with Immersion Days to assisting on school field trips. Volunteers showcase what life was like when canal boats carried anthracite coal through the canal.  

Celeste (front) volunteering during Immersion Days Field Trips.

Before coming to our Volunteer Fair, Celeste had little knowledge we existed besides walking along the D&L Trail as an escape during the pandemic and coming to Hugh Moore Park when her daughters were little. She didn’t know much about the canal’s history but found the educational process invigorating, especially since retiring as an emergency medical physician. She loves giving back to the community but wanted to participate in something flexible that lets her volunteer in her own time. Volunteering with DLNHC was exactly the right fit. 

Her favorite thing about volunteering as an educator is making people smile and helping others understand a concept. When helping with our children’s programming, she enjoys the sparkle in kids’ eyes once they have truly learned something new. She remembers one of her greatest joys as a child was when “older family members came over, sat in the rocking chair, and shared stories.” In her eyes, that’s exactly what she’s doing as a volunteer, helping to pass down stories that otherwise would be forgotten. For example, anytime she shares how people worked from 4 am to 10 pm, the kids are so exasperated, “what, all day!” Or when she demonstrates how people did laundry without machines and the kids get to try it afterward. Watching the kids is interesting because some are more cautious, but some are more eager, and surprisingly want to do it more often! She enjoys the Museum because it’s such an interactive place for a child to learn, physically interact, and touch things.  

We’re so grateful to have Celeste as part of our Education Volunteers. She brings so much experience and charisma to the role, it truly inspires others.  

Meet Chris Collie

If we could describe Chris Collie in one word, it would be dedicated.

Chris (center back) volunteering with ArtsQuest.

Chris has volunteered with our organization since 2016, and he’s excited to continue his legacy volunteering with this year’s St. Luke’s D&L RaceFest. He started volunteering with us after noticing a blurb in the paper looking for volunteers to help with the D&L Heritage Half Marathon Run/Walk. At that point, he had already been a loyal volunteer for ArtsQuest for 22 years. Chris figured helping with our race would be very similar to what he does with ArtsQuest and decided he had the time to help and was happy to.  

With the St. Luke’s D&L RaceFest coming up soon, Chris is eager to register as a volunteer. He lives in Allentown and is excited to see part of the race begin there. He hopes to see many familiar faces at RaceFest including those he’s met through our Heritage Half Marathon event and those he’s met through ArtsQuest. 

We’re always happy when we can help to create connections and hosting this race truly brings people together. Whether you want to join us as a volunteer like Chris, or as a participant, we hope to see you out on the D&L Trail for St. Luke’s D&L RaceFest. 

Thank you to Celeste and Chris for your volunteer dedication!