‘I just find time’

I pitched a story idea to my editor after attending the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting last week in Jonesborough, Tenn, which she loved. This woman was recognized for her dedication to the community.

This morning I woke up to a wonderful email from Dona. This made my day.   

“Meghan, Thank you for the nice article about me.  It was as though you knew me personally!!  I heard so many nice compliments from friends and other readers.” – Dona Lewis

Town declares Feb. 14 as ‘Dona Lewis Day’

Published Feb. 18, 2014 in the Herald & Tribune

Last week, the Town of Jonesborough recognized Dona Lewis for her countless hours of service to the community by dedicating Feb. 14 as Dona Lewis Appreciation Day of Jonesborough.

“You are a very special person, someone that embodies the spirit of Jonesborough and a person that loves her community,” Mayor Kelly Wolfe said during the Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting on Feb. 10.

Lewis said she was surprised about the proclamation.

“I was humbled; I think it was very nice for him to do it,” she said.

She said Wolfe had asked her to attend the BMA meeting, but she thought it was because of her involvement in the Jonesborough Area Merchants and Service Association.

“Kelly did a beautiful job as he always does,” Lewis said of the proclamation.

She also said her volunteer work is not done alone.

“I am heavily involved, but I don’t do it alone. There is always someone working with me,” Lewis said. “It takes a village.”

She moved to Jonesborough in 1995 from New Jersey after visiting the area since 1981. She said her and her husband, Chuck, started traveling to Jonesborough because her brother had lived in the area at the time.

“We started to come for visits and for storytelling and just fell in love with the area, but having my brother here helped. He was the draw,” she said.

The sense of community that the Town of Jonesborough provides is what she really enjoys.

“I just love the small town atmosphere and the fact that everyone knows everyone else,” Lewis said. “I just love this town. I love the people in it. It’s been very good for us to be here.”

The acceptance she felt from the Town of Jonesborough started in the early 1980s and has produced friendships of 30 years.

The Lewises opened Franklin House Bed and Breakfast in 1997, seven years after they started working on the business. The house that dates back to the 1840’s has three rooms, plus a guest apartment on the lower level.

Her favorite part about owning a bed and breakfast is meeting people.

“We have met the nicest people here,” she said.

In addition to running her business, she also finds time to be involved in the events that JAMSA hosts. Some of those events include the Taste of Jonesborough, a chili cook off contest and the turkey toss.

“The idea is to help bring business into Jonesborough by running events and working with the merchants,” Lewis said.

She’s also involved in Friends of the Library, as well as being a committee member for Music on the Square and Main Street Jonesborough.

“I just find time,” Lewis said of juggling everything. “It’s a little stressful at times, but I can do it. It’s amazing how you can sort your time out.”