We had a record turnout at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception last Friday. We’ve had many exciting programs and initiatives this year. Some are new and some have been infused with new energy. These include the Mustangs of the Fells at Medford High School, a Trail Adopter program that is growing exponentially (can you see the difference out there?), a Forest Kindergarten that always fills to current capacity, a robust Langwood committee, and some new hikes, clubs, and in-park events, to name a handful.
These and more explain some of the high attendance. But we think it was partly just good timing. People tend to think of Thanksgiving week as a week for reunions, and it was definitely a good one!
We have all different types of volunteers–for hikes and field service, for youth and education, for booths and festivals and events, for outreach and communications, for technical and administrative help, and much more. Would you like to be one? Sign up here. But during the year, some of these groups don’t cross paths as much as they’d like, even though they are often out there on literal sun-dappled paths. Or they’ve communicated, but have yet to meet in person. This annual event is a good opportunity to bring everyone together.
Some of the attendees have been friends and volunteer partners for decades. Others just started. Our newest volunteer, Bradley from Winchester High School, just started an hour before the event when he helped us set up! This event gives them a chance to meet and greet. It is a wonderful opportunity to make contacts and see how smaller groups and committees may help each other out in unexpected ways but it is also just a chance to relax and make new friends. The energy in the room the entire night was fantastic. In fact, we were hesitant to interrupt to make some (very short) thank-you speeches and hand out prizes, but the steady hum of Fells revelers bounced back immediately every time.
We have a lot of individuals to thank. We estimate we have a couple of hundred active and regular volunteers and about a quarter of those were able to show up. Of course that is not counting every individual at all the schools and businesses we work with every year as well. Speaking of which, we’d like to thank Panera Bread Woburn and Stop and Shop Stoneham for being refreshment sponsors.
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Did you miss this event? Do you want a chance to get together with your Friends of the Fells family for the holidays? Look out for more information on our Donor Appreciation Brunch, which will be held on Sunday, December 20th, at 11am. Not a donor yet? We’d be thankful for any amount, which you can donate at the link here. But if you’re not in a position to contribute a cash donation, of course we’d like to welcome anyone who can contribute to the Friends of the Fells in any way. See you soon!