Volunteers needed

Can you volunteer to help out with running and/or planning the March 2016 Apple & Grape Festival? There are many opportunities, big and small, in which your skills and time would be highly valued. If you love the festival, why not help make it the best ever? All areas are accepting volunteers. You can email secretary@appleandgrape.org for a copy of the volunteer form (for insurance purposes) or visit the office every Thursday between 10am – 12pm, at 20 Maryland Street in Room 2 (above the Cosmo Cafe).

We also still have two directorate vacancies - the Marketing Director and Youth Director. If you have marketing experience, or if you would like to make it a great festival for young people, please consider contributing by volunteering in these areas.

The following is a copy of the weekly A&G column in the Border Post by our president, Greg Thouard

Volunteerism is the Word

I recall my announcement at the Apple & Grape annual general meeting that volunteerism is the word for the 2016 Festival. To make this 50th anniversary the outstanding success that the community wishes it to be, a strong volunteer network is required.

I can recall the words used by Fijian Deputy Police Commission T Hannaford when he visited the festival in 1972 with the Royal Fiji Police Band. He was amazed that a small town with a population of 5,000 could draw 60,000 people to that festival and he said that 230 volunteers from 23 committee presented the most wonderful festival he had ever seen. For the 2016 festival we have 18 committees and I am looking forward to at least 180 volunteers but wouldn’t it be nice to break a record and get more than 230.

Many people avoid volunteering for the festival and the most favourite reason I hear is that people want to enjoy the festival weekend. While I agree that there is a fair bit of volunteerism required for festival week, with 9 months to go until festival-time, there are volunteer tasks that can be done now and in the lead-up. This may mean that many volunteers can have festival week off.

Since the last festival column I have been invited to attend Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and Probus meetings to talk about the festival. Volunteerism has been highlighted at each of these meetings and the response has been good. When asked what volunteer tasks are waiting right now, there are many. These can range from somebody with graphic design skills to prepare marketing brochures, helping with preparation for the senior’s concert, running a major bingo function, helping with the fruit display, organising visiting pipe and brass bands, street stalls planning, youth entertainment, sporting carnivals, helping with office work and the list goes on. It will be great to see the return of Information Ambassadors and there is a plan to attract volunteers to this role.

The festival committee opens its office every Thursday and for volunteers wishing to sign-up this can be done between 10am – 12pm. The office location is Cairnsmoor Building, 20 Maryland Street in Room 2. For persons interested in receiving a volunteer form this can be done by emailing secretary@appleandgrape.org.

Greg Thouard