Volunteers – Where would the world be without them?

Gary Neffenger and firefighters from Sun Lakes started early on the day of Art at the Lakes!

Gary Neffenger and firefighters from Sun Lakes started early on the day of Art at the Lakes!

Susan Plouzek

Art at the Lakes was a big success, thanks to the many volunteers and sponsors.

First of all, kudos to Gary Neffenger, Pat Merkle and Brandon Johnson (the firefighter) who all did their responsibilities so well. They knew what to do and they just did it! Then a miracle happened – Diane Hitt wanted to get raffle donations. Cathy Lawson got flyers out to hotels and restaurants. Linda Caton from HOA No. 2 did many different things to help. Andy Hughes agreed to help find volunteers. She and her pickleball people knew how to serve and were so friendly. Cheryl Lockwood, from San Diego, called one day and wanted to come to the event and volunteer with whatever we needed her to do! Ashley Volk, Cami Winn, and Zo Hird, all from Chandler, helped take care of the “You Can Paint” display, along with Judy Yaryan and Paula Swan of Sun Lakes. Even the people who juried the fine art donated their services. We had many wonderful fine artists from Sun Lakes, Tempe, Scottsdale, Tucson, Sedona – even one from California!

The firefighters volunteered for several jobs on their days off. First of all, they placed an eight foot table and two folding chairs at each vendor’s space. They set up large round tables and chairs for the eating location. They cooked hamburgers and hotdogs for everyone who wanted to buy one.

A super volunteer who stayed all day was Marilyn Conner. She drove her golf cart, doing everything from taking artist’s lunch orders to getting artists to the restroom, to hauling garbage. Don and Arlene Groshans started out at 7:00 a.m. and worked until after 2:00 p.m. doing a lot of grunt work. Many of the volunteers did stay all day, even though they were only scheduled for an hour or two.

Thank you to the many people, such as Kathleen Haswell and Duane Papke, who worked hard as well. They drove golf carts and shuttled artists and others to where they needed to go. Thank you volunteers who sold raffle tickets. Thank you to those who helped at the raffle and made many telephone calls. Thank you to the people who donated the wonderful prizes for the raffle.

A huge thank you to Kim Plouzek. He built and repaired signs, helped place signs, spent his own money doing mailings, postage and flyers. After he had helped all day and then he was exhausted, he picked everything up and put it all away until next year.

Where would we be without volunteers? One thing is certain. Without volunteers, this event and many others like it, would not happen. We are grateful to the many,many volunteers everywhere!