Volunteer of the Week: Monique Price, of Dowagiac
Monique Price, of Dowagiac, is a longtime employee of 1st Source Bank who volunteered to help organize this year’s Dowagiac Ice Time Festival, which took place on Feb. 6.
How did you help out during the ice festival?
Originally, I started calling for sponsorships for ice blocks. I helped Kris [Soenen, festival chair] with setting up the blocks, putting out the labels and helping the carvers get ready for the day. I picked up the ice chunks, and I picked up the cardboard and the bags, kind of patrolling the area for trash.
I’m involved with chili crawl with the ice festival too. I found out who wanted to make chili this year, trying to get some new businesses in. We had Caruso’s and Baker’s Rhapsody as the new businesses.
Was this the first year you have helped out?
This is our third year. We started off helping with the sponsors first, then helping out the day of the event.
What is it like to help out at the ice festival?
It’s fun. It’s an all day event, and it’s fun to see a block of ice go from something square to something amazing, and getting to know the carvers, since they come back year after year.
What is the biggest benefit to having the festival in the city every year?
It brings the community together with something to do during the slow winter months. Most of the time people are stuck inside all the time, and nobody gets outside to walk around because the weather is so nasty. It’s nice to see the community come out and look at the ice blocks and do the games with the kids and all the different events we do during the ice festival.
What’s the most rewarding part about helping out with the festival?
Just seeing the joy on everyone’s faces as you walk around town. Looking at the ice sculptures being carved, and being amazed what those carvers can carve out of a piece of ice. There was one this year with a rose that carved into a jar. It’s like, oh my gosh, how does he do that? It’s a wonder how they can take a block of ice and figure out what to do.
Is there anything else you volunteer with?
I’m involved with Junior Achievement. I’ve done that for three years now.
What would you say to encourage others to volunteer around the community?
Just to get out and do something to help the community. Without doing that you’re not seeing the joy and rewards from just a stranger passing you on the streets, being happy about seeing something you’ve helped with.
Do you know a volunteer worthy of recognition? Nominate him or her by calling Craig Haupert, community editor, at (269) 687-7720, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.