Taste of Kalamazoo Volunteer Thank You!!
Guest Poster: Katie Giambrone, ReGion G Director:
After coming off the “high” that Island Fest gave us back in June, Taste of Kalamazoo this year was more than a little disappointing beer sales wise. BUT, it was nowhere near disappointing in the aspect of volunteers!! In fact, we had even more non Kalamazoo Jaycees come and help out with Taste of Kalamazoo than we did for Island Fest!!
Being in charge of organizing all the volunteers for each festival, I can’t even come up with the right words to express my deepest gratitude and astonishment to all of those who came down to Taste of Kalamazoo to work a shift or more in the blistering and sizzling summer heat that at one point during the 3 day Festival, reached a Heat Index of over 107 degrees F!!! It was because of all this heat, and many heat weather related advisories, that the normal amount of Taste of Kalamazoo patrons weren’t present.
With the number of regular attendees for a typical Taste of Kalamazoo being quite a bit lower than normal, our sales in our beverage tent weren’t very mind blowing, but the amount of volunteers that came out to help us were!!! Here are some fun statistics about our amazing Taste of Kalamazoo volunteers!!!
- There were 30 current Kalamazoo Jaycees that helped out with at least one 4 hr shift.
- There were 9 Kalamazoo Jaycee Roosters that helped out with at least one 4 hr shift.
- There were 7 other MIJC chapters that were represented over the 3 days (Wyoming, Allegan, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Frankenmuth, Twin Cities, and Coldwater)
- There were 13 MIJCs that came and helped work at least one 4 hour shift.
- There were 3 current MIJC State BOD Jaycees (Angela Clock, Katie Giambrone, Lisa Kludy)
- All 4 Chapters in ReGion G were represented and helped out (got to LOVE ReGion G!!)
- There were 29 non-Jaycee volunteers!!! (Incredible friends and family members!!)
- There were a total of 84 volunteers who helped out with at least one 4 hour shift at Taste!!!
- Out of the 84 volunteers ~ 54 were NOT current Kalamazoo Jaycees!!
That is incredible, especially with the wicked heat we were having!! A little less than half of these volunteers were Non-Jaycees (friends and family and not a MIJC) who came out and melted away in the heat with us just because they are so awesome and believe in what we do!! The non Jaycee volunteers are the true Hero’s of this Festival because if it wasn’t for all their help, we wouldn’t have been able to handle the beverage tent; crowds or no crowds!!!
As one of the 2011 Chairperson(s) for Festivals, I again would like to humbly say a huge THANK YOU!! to all of our volunteers!! I enjoyed meeting and working with you!! It sure is a great feeling knowing that there are still many, many outstanding people out there that are willing to help out an amazing organization with their time and energy!! Thank you for believing in us and what we do because again, we couldn’t do what we do, without you!!
Many Blessings to each of you and I hope to see you out at other sensational Kalamazoo Jaycee projects very soon!!