by Visit Ventura
We LOVE our Volunteers!
So yes, as you can see, we celebrated Visit Ventura’s incredible team of volunteers on Wednesday, April 10th at a soiree at the beautifully remodeled Ventura Beach Marriott (thank you, kind Marriott staff). And yes, our volunteers deserved every inch of the accolades bestowed on them that evening. Why? Because when it comes to our 17 volunteers, you’ll find a smaller talent pool on American Idol. If you’re interested in volunteering alongside this great group please contact Michele Foster.
Their calling cards include pilot, artist, a former Rolling Stone columnist, a naturalist, and a college professor.
Our volunteers do everything you might imagine — answering phones, answering questions (some questions, impossible to imagine), ringing up sales– and plenty you can’t. They are a treasure trove of all things Ventura. Some have lived here all their lives. Some of their families go back several generations. Their knowledge is extraordinary. Outdone by only their willingness to help. With anything. There’s a volunteer who comes in once a month just to dust and catch up on gossip. (No, she doesn’t make house calls).
But maybe most important, they’re plain great fun. They come in for their shifts dancing. They come in pumping their arms overhead. They come in wearing floral shirts that would make the colorblind cry. A few are business-like. Many are less so. Each has their own signature stamp. If this is Tuesday morning, it must be a jitterbug and arms overhead.
As Marylss Auster, our President & CEO, diplomatically puts it, “We kind of have all these weird chimes go off when the different volunteers come in.”
And we are oh-so-grateful for every day and every volunteer. Between them, they’ve given us over 75 years of volunteering.
Marlyss can only shake her head. “Seventy-five years. That’s amazing. We couldn’t do it without them. They lay out that Ventura welcome mat, that special Ventura vibe.”
Michele Foster, now our full-time Office Administrator, first came to the Visitors Center as a volunteer. She was wise enough to know what she had found.
“I found a sort of family,” smiles Michele. “And the heart of that was the volunteers.”
Like anything true and good, it’s hard to put our volunteers to words.
So a small example. Just this very minute, a volunteer wandered over to Michele’s desk. For the better part of an hour, he had been diligently bent over boxes, accompanied by much clinking.
Poker-faced, he regarded Michele.
“Only 431 cowbells to go,” he said and then a big smile.
Next minute there will be something else.