Jefferson Award Winner: Barb Buker

CHIPEWA CASES (WQOW) – The Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls could not accomplish its mission without its costumes and costume manager. Thanks to a woman, these colorful creations make it onto the big stage.

“I used to live almost here,” says Barbara Buker. “You were wondering if I slept overnight because I was here so much.”

For decades, Buker has spent her time at the Heyde Center on a voluntary basis, initially as the head of her residential program for foreign groups that come to perform.

“Once people knew I was ready to do this and anything, they were asked to do many things,” said Buker.

Then Buker was asked to go downstairs to a disaster that was waiting to be saved.

Courtesy: Barb Buker

“I heard that this costume room was a mess. I didn’t even know there was a costume room back then,” said Buker. “I looked at it and said, ‘Wow, what fun! And I started cleaning it all up and taking an inventory of every piece. “

Buker has been the costume manager for over 25 years.

“I made costumes from scratch, depending on the theme of the piece, the era. And line up, oh my goodness, yes.

Buker also helps out with costumes for the police force, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, and even the Chippewa Falls Main Street Association.

“So I put them on for different occasions and different events. It’s just so fun to share with them. “

It’s not just costuming.

“I also made all the curtains in the Heyde Center here that are hanging,” she said.

Courtesy: Barb Buker

Meanwhile, Buker shows no sign of quitting.

“I enjoy it so much that I can help people,” said Buker. “It’s my pleasure. It’s definitely my pleasure.”

Voluntary work in the Heyde Center is not part of Buker’s scope of services. Buker volunteers at several other organizations. Here are a few more:

  • Christmas village
  • Family Support Center
  • Boys and girls club
  • Chippewa Valley Cultural Association
  • Lake Wissota Garden Club
  • Beaver Creek Reservation
  • Eau Claire Children’s Museum
  • Chippewa Falls Optimist Club (for 22 years)
  • Red Cross garden walk
  • Lake Hallie Memory Center

By ayunda