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Festival Volunteer Lolly Polvinale always had a smile on her face!

Festival Volunteer Lolly Polvinale always had a smile on her face!

By Miriam B. Grinberg, Intern

When asked to write a blog about my observations of volunteers and their work during the Festival this morning, my first thought was: “How can I possibly summarize everything I want to say about these remarkable people in one little blog entry?!” An intimidating task, no doubt!

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was one word that could perfectly describe all the volunteers: generous. Many of them were returning “veterans” to the volunteer force, as Festival PR Director Karen Hendricks told me; they knew the ins and outs of the Festival, who to talk to, where to go, and, most importantly of all, the right attitude to have. New volunteers were just as enthusiastic as they learned all they could about the Festival, taking to heart everything that the Festival staff had gone over with them at volunteer orientations.

Volunteer Sue Currans staffs the Festival Information Tent at the Main Stage

Volunteer Sue Currans staffs the Festival Information Tent at the Main Stage

I got the chance to meet and talk to many of the volunteers myself, especially at the Festival Main Stage, where many of my surveying activities took place. Despite the sometimes stifling heat of June afternoons during the Festival, they really were some of the most pleasant and amiable people you could be with, and they often asked me about myself and what I was studying at Gettysburg College. Often times I found myself staying after my surveying duties were completed, continuing our conversations and helping out at the main information tent. Duties there mainly consisted of helping attendees who asked for directions to various Festival venues and events, selling merchandise, handing out programs and explaining them, and, of course, that all-important task of giving away free Musselman’s Applesauce to children and adults alike that happened to pass by the tent on their way to the Main Stage.

Volunteer Carolyn Greaney shared her wonderful talents as a professional researcher

Volunteer Carolyn Greaney shared her wonderful talents as a professional researcher

While I did not always get the chance to see the variety of other volunteer work going on at other venues and events during the Festival, I know from meeting them at the Festival office that they have done a fine job. Feedback has been nothing but positive so far from them; one volunteer, in response to the question “What is one stand-out memory or Festival highlight for you personally?”, replied: “Being at the Main Stage, hearing Stars & Stripes Forever played and the American flag flying on top of Penn Hall gave me the chills.”

 Another volunteer added her kudos for Philadanco’s performance at the Festival: “I loved the variety of repertoire they presented which really brought out the athleticism and sheer energy of the dancers. What a fun group!”

Thoughts and comments from our volunteers are still coming in all the time, and given the feedback that we’ve received already, there’s a good feeling that these same volunteers would be more than happy to return for next year’s Festival.

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