november 19, 2004

DEL MAR TIMES

Foundation thanks Barbara Zucker of Community Services

By Lynn Gaylord

Barbara Zucker

If you have ever attended a "First Thursday" program or attended one of the many children's events in the Powerhouse or even had a personal event there, you have undoubtedly seen Barbara Zucker running around very quietly making sure everything was just right for the event. All of us at the Del Mar Foundation are pretty sure that Barbara landed on our city Community Services staff straight from heaven!

If you have not seen her working at the Powerhouse, perhaps you have seen Barbara walking around town marking tires and enforcing Del Mar's parking regulations. She is so nice in her enforcement job, you might even concede she has some heavenly status! No matter what she is doing, to know Barbara Zucker is to love her and truly appreciate all she does for the community.

"It is a very special event when people marry in the Powerhouse and I often find myself being their wedding coordinator or sharing how others have done it," explains Barbara. "For the children's events, I just love being with the kids and their parents and helping in any way I can. I am a grandmother myself so I know how special these times are."

Claire McGreal who is chair of the Children's Committee for the Foundation explains, "Being a mother and grandmother, Barbara anticipates what children will do. Without any direction she will rope off the stairs to little toddlers or tape down cords on Bingo Night worrying that little ones may trip in their excitement to claim a prize. She is just invaluable."

When I spoke to Mark Rathsam who is assistant manager of Community Services about Barbara's job, he explained that she really has to be very flexible. "It's a whole juggling act for Barbara because we call on her to perform wherever we need her. Sometimes it is meeting a couple planning a wedding in the Powerhouse, sometimes it is filling in for busy times in parking enforcement, and sometimes it is working awful hours on the weekend."

When I caught up with Barbara one day I asked her about the parking enforcement aspect of her job. She said, "It's great. When I first started the job, I could barely walk fast across the street. I've never been an exercise person but today I walk about 6 - 8 miles a day and I've actually lost 40 pounds!" Once I regained my composure she continued talking about her job. "People have a feeling that we must be pretty mean to be a parking enforcement officers. When I talk to them and explain the parking situation, they find out we can be nice as well. It's very gratifying."

This is the time of year when we have the opportunity to take stock and be thankful for the little things in our lives which mean so much. From all the members at the Del Mar Foundation and probably the community at large, we thank you Barbara Zucker for being you! Keep up the good work!

Lynn Gaylord is past president of the Del Mar Foundation.