Snow is softly falling, friends and family are gathering, and marshmallows and chestnuts are roasting. It is the first Friday in December, and Holiday on 44th is in full swing. Horse-drawn wagons are carrying festival goers along 44th Avenue. The safety and fun of the wagon rides – and many other evening events – are made possible by neighborhood volunteers like you.
Tom Maher has lived in the neighborhood most of his life. He signed-up to be an event volunteer three years ago, and found a niche assisting with the horse-drawn wagons. On his first assignment, he went to the corner of Morgan and 44th Avenues, received his instructions, and worked into a groove. As a performer with stage experience, Tom shares that a key to his volunteering success is to read the audience and assess what they need. Providing clear guidance and directions to wagon riders ensures an enjoyable experience for everyone. Tom is a delight, and even makes the wait for the wagons fun!
Dan and Aaron Lynch are a father/son team who also work the horse-drawn wagons. The Lynches began volunteering with Holiday on 44th in the late 1990s when Aaron was in high school (at PHHS, of course!). Dan has a heartwarming reason for volunteering: it’s a good way to kick off the winter holiday season! He describes Holiday on 44th as a very positive community event that is an opportunity to see the neighborhood kids, friends and neighbors. The Lynch guys help kick off the evening at PHHS.
Holiday on 44th is successful because of volunteers like you! If you have considered signing up but aren’t sure what to expect, take Tom’s advice and “give it a shot – it’s only an hour, time flies, and it’s fun!” Opportunities exist to help with marshmallow and chestnut roasting, ice carving raffle ticket sales, horse-drawn wagons, and re-opening the streets at the end of the event (moving barricades to the corners). Contact Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 612-296.7968 with your preference and availability. We have a place for you!
This article was written by Monica Hussey Klanderud