VOLUNTEER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & APPRECIATION?
by Kirby Lindsay
At the last monthly Fremont Arts Council (FAC) committee of the whole (C.O.W.) meeting, held April 13, a theme, of the need for volunteers, became apparent. Several projects – a Fall rummage sale, a fundraiser, Solstice Parade fundraising, a Folklife booth, an art booth during the Fremont First Friday Art Walk, workshop instructors, etc. – need leadership and volunteers to make them happen.
How Do We Love Thee
Meeting facilitator Gyan Davies, an FAC Board Member, had carefully detailed the agenda on a chalkboard, and included on it ‘Volunteer Appreciation.’ She acknowledged two specific volunteers, the first being Sonia Telesco. The group roundly applauded Telesco’s great contribution, having organized and almost single-handedly run the recent FAC Rummage Sale. Before this, Telesco had thanked those who donated items and the volunteers who did help her stage the sale. The sale raised $928 towards the Parade (five dollars coming during the meeting.)
Davies also acknowledged Allie Kerr, ‘elected’ during the meeting to the long vacant post of recording secretary for the FAC. Kerr has given hours in the Powerhouse (the FAC playhouse) to clear up the FAC database, repair computers and organize/clean the office. Thanks to her work, the organization now can use a previously unknown cache of membership materials, including Fremont passports and Artistic Licenses.
After giving heartfelt thanks to these two great volunteers, the group brainstormed answer to Davies question, “how can we better appreciate our volunteers?” The upcoming Parade will require hundreds of people giving hours of work. The desire to acknowledge their generosity becomes particularly acute at this time of year. Many great ideas were considered, including posting thank you notes on a board in the Powerhouse (maybe with pictures), food for work parties, inviting new volunteers out for a drink, or a bite, after a work party, Facebook kudos and discount coupons to local businesses.
Jerry Smith, FAC Board President, mentioned how everyone loves free stuff – and he suggested a raffle. The FAC has received some donations of great prizes – including tickets to Teatro ZinZanni, art work and assorted trinkets. Mylinda Sneed, Parade Coordinator, would like volunteers to sign-in and tickets can be given at registration. The program can continue year ‘round – to better appreciate volunteers who keep the FAC going after the parade fades from a looming force to a pleasant memory.
Let’s Count the Ways
While the Parade does loom, and meeting attendees discussed it, they also touched on the upcoming, annual May Day event – held Saturday, May 1st. May Day needs leadership, but it is expected to happen regardless. An area of Lower Woodland Park had already been reserved, ribbons for the May Pole procured and a date – Sunday, April 25 at 5p.m. at the Powerhouse – set for attaching ribbons to the crown so that the dance may commence.
During Parade discussion, Sneed mentioned the need to be careful, in FAC dealings, about what gets said. The organization contains a diverse mixture of personalities and eccentricities among its membership. Sneed asked that everyone be cautious. We all have bad days, she pointed out, but take a bite of chocolate or drink some coffee - and treat others as you want to be treated. Davies acknowledged a common problem – of people being perceived as speaking for the FAC. The organization is vast, and opinions vary, so it is best to investigate before taking offense to find out if comments do come from the group, or a single individual.
The best way to do that – to find out exactly what the organization does say and do – is to attend a monthly COW meeting. Meetings take place on the second Tuesday each month – the next one is May 11 – at the Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Avenue North). They start at 7:10 sharp! Hope to see you there.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.