Some jobs cooler than others at ice festPublished 2:14pm Thursday, January 24, 2013
Volunteers of Leaderland came out to help produce a wildly successful Hunter Ice Festival in downtown Niles this past weekend.
Wearing my Rotary hat, I joined their ranks.
The fat paycheck I earned came in the way of smiles, business successes and camaraderie.
Fortunately, I had a cushy job in the warming station selling raffle tickets.
From time to time, I peered across the street at Barbara Craig, Lucy McCauslin and their brave volunteers as they scooped ice cream for the steady stream of buyers.
While Saturday was relatively warm, the same could not be said for Sunday as they stood by their carved ice counter.
Main Street Niles Director Lisa Croteau was seemingly everywhere at once throughout the event at all hours of the day and night.
She deserves major kudos for her monumental effort.
Chickie Landgraf, the Niles Main Street treasurer, made sure all of the ice blocks were organized and properly placed.
Was that her we saw driving the front-end loader?
It was my pleasure to work with local high school students. For a 60- year-old sometimes curmudgeon, it is refreshing to see the excitement and energy of these well-meaning students.
They have the world before them, and the ideas and dreams to create a better world.
Ryan Jenkins, from Buchanan High School, volunteered through much of the event.
He sold gallons of ice cream and sold a few raffle tickets, too.
While he’s resting, he teaches gymnastics to kids at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA.
Brandywine student Jesse Cooper did a shift at the Rotary booth.
Earlier, she was cleaning the gym to get ready for a volleyball tournament. She is counting on her athletic ability to help cover the cost of her college education.
Emilia Kuemin, also from Brandywine, puts in hours at a McDonald’s in South Bend. She’s already become a manager trainee. And that was just a small sampling of the extra activities.
The community is fortunate to have this caliber of students who care deeply.
What a wonderful community effort.
My kudos to all of the unmentioned volunteers who gave up their weekend, although I’m willing to bet they also had a blast.
Throughout the year, there are many events and non-profit organizations that could use volunteers.
If you are connected to one of these entities and need some help, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (269) 687-7700.
No promises, but we will do our best.