To volunteer is to have fun
Escape with Eddie
No matter where your interests lie, you can have a lot of fun, and meet a lot of interesting people if you volunteer your services for community events. On Saturday, I had the privilege of being on the scene as various volunteers came together to prepare for the Moose Lake Area Music Festival Street Dance, Rebuilding Hope. Although the purpose was a fundraiser for the Flood Relief Fund, the secondary gains were many. This wonderful event offered the opportunity for a community and surrounding area residents to come together and enjoy a day of music, dancing, eating, having a beer, and most of all, visiting with one another.
The rousing music of the Chmielewski’s encouraged people to get up and do the polka. There is nothing quite like polka music to get the body limber and your blood moving. It’s also a cheerful sound that makes your feet tap and your fingers drum on tables. It sets a tone for the festivities to follow.
I think one of the most enjoyable parts of volunteering time is the chance to meet lots of people. I sat at one of the ticket tables for the opening hours of the Music festival. There were all kinds of participants who stepped up to buy admission tickets and tickets for the various raffles being held. Raffle items were donated by various businesses in the area. In my column next week, I will endeavor to list each of them and say, “Thanks for your generosity!” At this time, I do not have all their names, but I do know their generosity knows no bounds.
In my few hours of visiting with various people, it was evident that this day of community acknowledgement was appreciated by all. Attendees ranged in age from the very young, which raced and played on Elm Avenue, to an older, more sedate crowd who danced and visited at picnic tables.
Channels 3 and 6, were on hand, as well as Fox 21 News. Moose Lake Flood Manager Tom Paull was interviewed by the news crews as they filmed the event. Paull did an incredibly fine job of organizing this community event. On hand were city officials and numerous volunteers, ranging in age from teenagers to seniors.
Yes indeed, into the day’s events a little rain did fall. But it did not dispel the mood of cheerful friendliness that was noticeable everywhere. Joe Jitter’s and Moose Lake Florists remained open during the afternoon of the event.
From my seat at the ticket booth area, I was able to watch the music groups, the groups of people coming and going, and the children running and playing in the street.
It is an enjoyable experience to be part of this community celebration of renewal and recovery. During this past year, residents of Moose Lake and other area residents have worked hard to deal with the aftermath of the flood. Although not everything is back to ship-shape and normal, this community is well on its way to a brighter future. Moose Lake's celebration is one of the bright spots.