By Dr. Toni Carrell
Treasurer, Friends of the Turks & Caicos National Museum
Yes the rumors are true, April 30, 2013 was the last day that Museum gift shop and volunteer manager Jackie Garbarino was an employee. Jackie is leaving, but happily for us, she won’t be completely gone. She will continue her involvement by remaining on the Museum Foundation and Friends Boards.
It’s hard to believe that nearly three years have flown by – it was September 2010 when Jackie and Pat Saxton took over the reins of the Museum and began its renaissance. They rolled up their sleeves and went to work. Jackie took on the daunting task of completely reorganizing the Gift Shop bringing in wonderful new goodies to tempt shoppers. Under her guidance the shop space was remodeled, repainted and renewed. Jackie even brought us into the 21st century by adding a credit card machine!
Exercising her green thumb, or at least good landscaping sense, Jackie cleaned up the entry area with its small garden and made it more open and inviting. Not being satisfied, new signs at the front door welcome visitors and residents alike. True to her Italian roots, she made everyone feel at home the minute they arrived with a “My House is Your House” smile.
Having her finger on the pulse of the Grand Turk social scene, Jackie organized “Movie Night at the Museum.” With a popcorn machine (what’s a movie without popcorn!), cookies, drinks, and lots of laughs, it’s become a regular, much looked-forward-to event. It also raises money to support the Museum.
Jackie also quickly recruited volunteers to do everything from fixing electrical outlets, flying items from Grand Turk to Provo, helping with membership and data entry, cleaning exhibits, popping popcorn and bartending on movie night, cataloging the museum’s small library, helping with gift shop inventory and sales, to doing a gift shop makeover.
For those of you who have seen the Museum blog, you will recognize Jackie’s wicked, funny sense of humor. Her unique outlook on life and perspective on what the rest of us would call ordinary has made for some laugh-out-loud posts.
Jackie arm-wrestled the flagging membership. Under her guidance not only has the Museum membership grown but renewals are up. Who can resist her emails with a reminder to renew?
In all ways, Jackie was the visible face of the Musuem. It was her smile that greeted dazed passengers from the cruise ships, wandering visitors from the hotels, local residents looking for that perfect gift, and volunteers who simply love the Museum and want to see it thrive.
The short of it is Jackie will be sorely missed. Her understudy at the front, Candianne Williams, is stepping up to greet one and all with her own dazzling smile. Although gone from the Museum, Jackie will still be around teaching yoga, working on her Italian, and making us laugh. Who knows, she may even find time to volunteer now and then. Ciao Jackie!