Without volunteers, your favorite annual events likely wouldn’t happen.
According to Camp Verde Economic Development Director Steve Ayers, Camp Verde’s three special events, the Spring Heritage Fest, Fort Verde Days and the Cornfest, are “entirely volunteer driven.”
The town allocates $10,000 per year to fund the events, but this amount is only enough to cover essentials.
“It takes people to make them successful,” Ayers said. “And as far the need for volunteers, Cornfest requires the most. Because of the heat, organizers like to limit volunteer time slots to just two hours. That means in order to cook, serve and sell the corn the event needs 110 two-hour slots filled.”
Unfortunately for volunteers, the Cornfest regularly falls short of this goal. This year, the need for volunteers is particularly acute.
On July 2, with less than two weeks before the event scheduled July 14 and 15, Camp Verde Promotions Vendor Chairwoman Bobbie Tennant emailed Ayers and other community leaders, petitioning for help in finding people to man the corn tent.
“We are in desperate need,” Tennant said. “At this point, we only have 30 volunteers, or 30 spaces, filled .... This takes in all phases of the selling of roasted and fresh corn: Preparing and roasting, cooking, serving, collecting money and for bagging and selling fresh corn.”
According to Tennant, volunteers may sign up for two or even three shifts, as long as they take a two-hour break between each shift.
“If [the volunteer slots] aren’t filled, those who do step up to help end up being asked to do more,” Ayers said. “Over the last six years, that has happened every year, which is why some folks are getting burned out.
“The bottom line is that if the residents of Camp Verde hope to continue having the special events, they need to step up. Two hours of someone’s time is not a lot ask for.”
Volunteering, Ayers said, is an act that bolsters the community and increases the ability of hometown events to bring people together.
“First off, it really is fun to come to the events as a volunteer,” Ayers said. “You get to meet some really nice people. Secondly, it is the real reason we have events, to bring the town together and share all the things we love about living in Camp Verde.
“And lastly, everyone should make time to give back to the community. Volunteering at an event is a simple and much appreciated way to do that.”
Volunteering for Cornfest is a simple process. Those interested may register at campverdepromotions. org or call Tennant at 300-0179.