Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Few Good Men Or Women, As The Case May Be............

In part 3 of my salute to our volunteers, I'm going to show a few more photos of some of our Dumplin Valley army of friends who give up their family time to spend the weekend helping us see to the needs of the Festivarians.  Sadly, I don't have access to photos of every single person who has helped out so I will present some that I could readily pull up and post.
Roy Swann, Sami Moore, Gene & Barb LeGrand

Joe with Bobby & Barbara Mull

Joe & Gene holding down the gate

Gene, Sherry Moore, Frank Alden

Barb LeGrand

Wes Soward & Randy Martin

Joe, Bobby & Rhonda Pate

Wes & Barb
Some of the other volunteers are Gene Bell, Joe & Julie Winter, Stanley Moore, Trenta Swann, Al & Staci Caton (for the use of their 4-wheeler), Dollie Alden, Tom & Jeanne Winn.  And we must include W.A. & Rhonda Pate who always pitch in whenever they are here as well as Ted & Irene Lehman.  Irene even covers the merch tables for several of the bands in addition to talking photos and blogging with Ted. 
It really does take a village to run a festival.  I'm sure I haven't given credit to everyone so I apologise for that.  We are grateful for all the help we have spreading our fliers and getting the word out about an event that we are proud to put our name on.  It couldn't be done without all of you.  Thanks ever so much!!!! m

It Takes A Village.............

I hope you read the previous post on a couple of our volunteers.  Without our volunteers there could be no festival as it is quite an undertaking.  We have been blessed by the generosity of our friends & family who have given so much of their time and talents to help us present a first class event for your enjoyment.  Once inside the venue you will most likely encounter several people who are here to make sure that the people buying tickets to the shows have a good time.  Some of these unsung heroes are not up front and center and may not be noticed right away.  But they wouldn't have it any other way.   If things are running smoothly, you can bet that these volunteers are doing a fine job to ensure just that.  Having said all that, let's take a look at some of them.

Let's start with Bobby & Barbara Mull.  They have been here from our humble beginnings and have become quite the ambassadors for Dumplin Valley.  Bobby's main "job" is addressing the arrival and needs of campers.  It's usually his smiling face that greets the campers as they enter the farm.  He's so familiar with the layout of the campground and the rigs of our repeat visitors that he can identify most of them when they approach the gate and knows where they're going before they even drive onto the grounds.  
You'll also see him picking up the slack wherever and whenever he senses the need.  And he is often accompanied by his wife, Barbara, who is also a VIP.  Barbara pitches in wherever needed and that might include anything from paper towel patrol to administrative assistance.  They've even been known to provide some meals for bands from time to time.    It was certainly a lucky day for us when we crossed paths with these two fine bluegrass lovers.  We've leaned on them a lot in the last 14 years for advice and guidance as they are veterans of the bluegrass trail with lots of stories to tell.  They are good ambassadors for Dumplin Valley on that trail as they carry our brochures on their travels and help spread the word.  
During the festival you'll find them parked near the pavilion with little Molly Rose on the dash.  Molly Rose is the official bluegrass cat of Dumplin Valley now.  Thank you Bobby & Barbara for all you do. 

I hope these photos will help folks identify Bobby & possibly clear up the confusion of who is Joe and who is Bobby!  They each answer to whichever name someone calls them.  But they both do so many jobs on the grounds that people get them confused. 
Thanks, you guys, we couldn't do it without you!! m

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Gene LeGrand!

Today's local paper carried a story on the front page which featured one of our faithful volunteers, Gene LeGrand.  Not only has he been here every year working tirelessly at the gate selling tickets, giving directions, welcoming people and providing information to the many people who drop by his tent, he can also be found at various charitable organizations volunteering his time (alongside his wife, Barb).  In this instance, he was photographed while judging the local county science fair.   Needless to say, we are proud of Gene for his generosity in serving the community in so many ways.  He and Barb are very important cogs in the festival wheel at Dumplin Valley.  Barb is in charge of handling/selling the t-shirts, information table & also makes reservations while answering the phone and answering questions for the folks who drop by her headquarters.   We know we are lucky to have such fine help.  And Sevier County is lucky to have this couple giving so much of their time.   I actually met them while volunteering at Sevier County Food Ministries.  They just happened to be working on the same day that I worked there and we soon bonded and the rest is history.  Volunteering to work at a bluegrass festival without knowing much about the music was a big step for them.  And now they have been converted to the category of being fans.  We've certainly learned a lot through the last 14 years together and we look forward to experiencing September festival #15 in 2014.


Check back for another installment of a salute to our volunteers.