TROY — With the 2018 Troy Strawberry Festival just around the corner, organizers are seeking volunteers to help keep the shuttles running smoothly.
According to shuttle committee chair Debbie Char, shuttle volunteers are a critical part of the festival because theirs are the first and last faces most festival-goers see.
“The volunteers at the shuttles are what I like to refer to as truly the goodwill ambassadors of the festival,” Char said. “If people feel lost the minute they get off the bus and aren’t sure where to go in, their experience at the festival is not as positive as we want it to be. Our volunteers make sure that they start off their day on the right foot. And on the backend our volunteers thank them for coming out and supporting the nonprofit organizations of Miami County because that is what this festival is all about.”
The volunteers also help manage the flow of traffic the festival brings to the city every year. The festival usually attracts more than 100,000 people over the course of two days. Providing shuttles helps to cut down on traffic congestion downtown, Char said.
Parking will again be available at WACO Airfield and the Miami County Fairgrounds. Only handicapped parking will be available at the ITW parking lot on South Ridge Avenue — it is the only location where a handicapped bus will go to pick up and drop off, Char stressed.
From those locations, guests can hop aboard a shuttle to the Miami County Courthouse downtown.
Shuttle volunteers will greet people as they get off the bus, thank them for coming to the festival, and help them with any assistive devices or packages that they may have when they’re ready to get back on the bus.
“Last year the shuttles ran very smoothly. We didn’t have anyone left behind, nor did we take anyone to the wrong lot, and that is very much in part thanks to the myriad of volunteers that we have that very efficiently manage that organized chaos,” Char said.
Shuttle volunteer shifts are approximately three hours long and every volunteer will receive a commemorative T-shirt.
Water will be available to keep volunteers hydrated and any volunteer who works two or more consecutive shifts will receive a meal.
Char added that the committee encourages groups of friends, church groups, co-workers and neighbors to come hang out together while volunteering for a good cause.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org