Archive for Thursday, September 8, 2005

EudoraFest could crumble without volunteers

September 8, 2005

Although the bulk of the preliminary work for this year's EudoraFest has been accomplished, event organizer Barbara Tuttle still has concerns.

Tuttle is concerned about the amount of volunteer work currently going into the project. Her concern encompasses the immediate help organizers need and, depending on how many people turn out, the festival's continued existence.

In some ways the festival this year is still on track.

"Planning is pretty much done. We're pretty much on autopilot," Tuttle said. "It's just making sure nothing falls through.

In other ways, the festival still needs help.

"Where we need volunteers is to have people get things done on the day of the event," Tuttle said.

Organizers still need people to help set up, clean and maintain the festival as it happens.

There will be other tasks, like setting up signs and measuring booths.

Marilyn Neis, another organizer, has worked with the festival since it began nine years ago.

"It will happen this year because it's already pretty much planned," Neis said. "We still need some people to help with some things that need to happen, there's always so much that needs to happen the day of EudoraFest."

Many types of work need to be done when the actual day rolls around.

"Some of it is not hard, really simple types," Neis said. "People think you have to go down and measure off the booth space the night before, and that's a very simple job too, but it takes time and some one willing to do it."

Once organizers find enough people to make this year's EudoraFest a success, they will still have the task of finding a core group to bring it back next year.

"We do need help that's for sure. This is my ninth year at it, so I've been pretty well committed," Neis said. "That's what we need -- people that want to see it keep going and are willing to give the time to organize it and making sure it happens."

If the group doesn't receive some new blood it could lead to the end of the festival.

"We need volunteers for next year that say 'yea, I want to help,' and show up to take pride in EudoraFest," Tuttle said.

New volunteers could help to prevent overextending those who already work with the festival.

"I know two of us have been part of it since the beginning, and we kind of get burned out on it, too," Neis said. "We would like to see it continue to grow, and see all of our efforts keep multiplying."

The planning committee for the yearly event begins meeting in January and then meets monthly after that, Neis said. By the time July rolls around the committee meets more often until finally scheduling weekly meetings before the October event takes place.

The event has grown in the nine years since it first took place, Neis said.

For instance, during the first year, organizers brought in only about 30 booths.

Now 95 booths will be set up to ply their trades.

The steady growth would make the loss of the festival all the more tragic for Neis and Tuttle.

"I'd really hate to see EudoraFest going down the tubes at this point. There have been a lot of blood, sweat and tears gone into it. It takes a great deal of commitment," Tuttle said.

If no help comes then some of the longtime organizers might step down, Tuttle said.

"And if we don't have a EudoraFest, we don't have a EudoraFest," Tuttle said.

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