Thank You Volunteers!

Ah, it’s that happy time of year when we get to express our gratitude to everyone who helped make Rochester VegFest possible.  Here you see the large community that comes together to pull off this tremendous feat. ♥

We want to start with big thank-you’s to Kim for being our treasurer and RAVS rep again, as well as staffing the VegFest booth all day, and to Darren for continuing to be our carpenter, welder, and all-around go-getter.  Thank you to Beth for publicizing VegFest in print media. Thank you to Bob F for coordinating our volunteers – this is a big complicated job!

Thank you to Martha for doing every little thing to get donations to stuff those awesome SWAG bags.  She also acquired most of the raffle donations, AND donated and made lunch for 60 volunteers!  She delivered wraps and cookies to grateful volunteers, and thanks to Linda F for helping her by making all the cashew cheese for them, helping assemble them early Saturday, and then helping deliver them around the festival.  They were terrific!

A special thank you to Justin B. and Deb S. These folks simply show up and say “what can I do?” every year. Usually it’s a big and heavy job, but they’re not daunted!

Thank you to Darren for renting a truck and picking up all our paraphernalia from Mockingbird Farm’s barn, where it was stored for the past year.  Thanks to Mockingbird for storing it and helping Darren load the truck!  And thanks to Darren for spotting, picking up, and repairing a discarded tent frame that we used for the VegFest booth – zero waste!  Darren also built that beautiful whiteboard near the VegFest booth that people filled with vegan love.  I don’t think I can overstate how much hard work Darren does in building, repairing, and hauling around bulky plywood standups, sand bags and other awkward stuff to make VegFest successful.  Here he is with a bundle of the beautiful inspirational vegan signs he made and posted all over the park.

Thanks to Elise for staffing the ARRoc tent, and to her helpers: Tony D, Michelle A and Christie F, who all generously donated their time helping to staff the ARRoc table. In addition, we’d like to thank Tony for his help with tear down, Michelle A for making the drive out from Batavia in order to help us, and give an extra special shout out to Christie F, who was on board as a volunteer from 8 am until 5pm, helping with countless tasks behind the scenes!  Thanks to Krista for painting the beautiful bags we sold there; she also helped out most of the long day and played her fiddle for a while, too.

Thanks to Katie for selling her Sun Soul Creations jewelry for ARRoc – she sold a LOT!  That is a lot of work year round making her beautiful designs.

Thanks to Carol for coordinating the RAVS  and Ask-a-Vegan booths to provide lots of information about going vegan. Many thanks to Linda B, Janet S, and Lisa S for helping set up tents and banners for RAVS and Rochester Lifestyle Medicine (RLM) first thing in the morning. Thanks to RAVS staffers Carol B, Donna P, Harry P, Byron R, Sandy R, and Barbara S; thanks to Ted B, Jane D, Beth GB, Wanda M, Bruce P, Noreen S, Dan S, and Julie Y for staffing RLM. And special thanks to the staffers of Ask-a-Vegan—Deborah C, Katherine D, Carol H, Robbie S, and Ren v—for fielding questions so well and sending folks to other booths! Thanks also to Ted B for bringing all his audio-visual equipment and for being an onsite AV installer and trouble-shooter.

Thank you to Joe for making our social media more hip in the days leading up to VegFest, and for organizing the Anonymous for the Voiceless tent.  Thanks to Justin for loaning the tent for that.  Thanks to Andy, Theresa, Justin, Sandy, Lisa, Miriam, and Shirley for staffing that tent.  Joe also helped with packing and unpacking in between his stints volunteering for Anonymous for the Voiceless and helping with tech, and made a cool short video about VegFest!

We called for day-of helpers and you answered!  Thank you to Kim N. and Jill for starting the day off for us by directing traffic for the vendors! And the vendor assistants, Andrea M, Nancy H, Elizabeth M, Pamela W, Theresa S, Judson D, Christie F, and Clare C – WOW – you all worked so hard helping vendors get set up. We are proud to say that the vendors really appreciate this level of assistance, something we think is unique to RocVegFest!

Lyn K. was our first ever official “Vegan Screener” ensuring that all guests could freely and confidently shop in a vegan world….the future is now!

The day continued with our Raffle Ticket Sellers and greeters. Maria, Fawn, Ben, Lauren, Amy S, Julia I, Cheryl M, Andrew M, Charles, John M, Barbara B, Dezmond R, Andrea R, Renee W, Chris R, Noreen, Clare, Julie M, and Don B. These folks kept count of the hundreds of guests that visited us and also sold winning raffle tickets (ok – some of them were losers but they also sold ALL the winners!). The raffle area was staffed by Robyn, Varun, Cindy and Sherrill.

The center hub of the VegFest table was held down (sometimes literally because of the wind!) by Sirena, Shari, Lori, Lora, and Beth. Kim G was there all day as well, selling shirts, water bottles and raffle tix!

We had two wonderful Jacks and Jills of all trades, our floaters Judson and Melaney, ready and willing to hop in with whatever task needed to be done.

A beautiful and creative Kids Area was lovingly staffed by Erin, Heather, Andrea B, Serena and Alex. Erin brought face paints and smiles to many faces that day!  Thanks to Dani for loaning us a tent for the kids area.

We didn’t forget about the older kids this year, thanks to amazing Lexi, who coordinated a Teen Tent complete with scavenger hunt and prizes. She was helped by Krista and Christian, two more amazing young people (just more proof that the future is vegan!)

Thank you to Chris Hirschler, Jonell Belcher-Chudyk, and Tim Kaufman for speaking.  Speakers were coordinated by Elise and Katie. Tech support for the speakers was provided by Mike F and Omari. All that expertise made the day run smoothly as Bubbie MC’d!

Maintenance and tear down workers, John, Clare, Amy, and Miriam worked hard to make sure Roc VegFest was spiffy, organized, and clean, and that the vendors were able to pack up quickly and safely. Thank you!

A contingent of Syracuse organizers came to volunteer and get ideas for their first VegFest coming up next month – thanks for all the help, and thanks to Mike L for volunteering in Mockingbird Farm’s tent!  When you attend Syracuse VegFest, you might just recognize some of our plywood cutouts :-).

Thank you to Rob at PanoGraphics for donating all the graphic layout work for our VegFest printing this year and just generally putting up with us.  Thank you to Marissa of Sweet Image Photography for taking photos all day and sharing them freely.

Tina handled the website, social media, email, general inquiries, ordering the tent, tables, and everything printed, setting up the the ARRoc booth and the chalking in the lower area, transporting her own truckload of VegFest paraphernalia, and handling budgeting, insurance, and various other nerdy things, and then was on site from 7 to 6 with the rest of the crew.

A million thanks to Bubbie for her fantastic work in taking on VegFest’s biggest job, Vendor Coordinator, and then also arranging the permit with the city, coordinating with the electrician and our zero waste handler, as well as generally picking up any big or little task that needed to be done such as sorting 100 T-shirts the day before VegFest!  She also jumped in to be the MC in the speaker tent at the last minute and handled it like a pro, and this is on top of helping put out all the “fires” that come up at an event like this!

RocVegFest 2019 simply would not have been possible without each and every one of our amazing volunteers.  Thank you!!