Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival

Volunteers at the heart of the festival

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[August 26, 2014]  LINCOLN - In order for the Art and Balloon Festival to be successful each year, it takes literally hundreds of volunteers.

At this year’s volunteer dinner hosted by Region’s Bank and Culver’s, Andi Hake, executive director at Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce spoke of the need for more volunteers while discussing what it takes to make the festival happen. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder praised the work of the volunteers who help make the festival “Tremendous!”

Those who volunteer often find it a rewarding experience. For instance, Jennifer Steele (pictured left), who has volunteered as a craft coordinator, says she “likes getting to see all the people every year, and getting to connect with people outside the community and show what Lincoln is all about and what a great community we have.” Barry Simons, who has parked cars and passed out books for the past couple years, enjoys working at the airport and seeing all the people who come out for the festival.

Jason Shafer (pictured left), who has helped the Boy Scouts selling popcorn and candy downtown for many years says, “It is a great service for our community.” Bryce Watkins, one of the Boy Scouts who is volunteering for the first time, says it is a good time to get experience with selling items to raise money for their projects.

Other volunteers also enjoy the chance to be involved in the festival and all its delight. Kathy Johnson, who likes to chase balloons and is a first time coordinator for admissions this year, says it will be “exciting.” Roger and Jeannie Bakken (pictured left), other first time volunteers enjoy the balloon glow and meeting friends at the Art of Wine.

Denise Etcheson has worked at the beverage center for nine years and says she “likes meeting new people, enjoying balloons, and watching my kids’ eyes light up when they see the balloons.”


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Friends and family often help to recruit volunteers. Bill Meyer (pictured left), who is a first time volunteer this year, says a friend recruited him to drive golf carts at the festival, which he says should be a “fun experience.”

For Michelle Squaire, who has volunteered at the Art Fair for three years, it is a family affair, as she works with her children and her mother. She says, “It takes a lot of work to set up.” She loves all the different types of art, comparing it to being at an art museum.

Michelle's mother Sonnie Alexander, who has worked as a coordinator at the Art Fair for the past few years, likes the fact that it offers, “fine art, juried artists, and judges with good credentials.” She says that “it is fun to see all the good talents and the variety of media.”

As the volunteers tirelessly put in hours to make the Art and Balloon Festival succeed, their work brings pride to our community and joy to the thousands of people who attend.



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