Community

Lavender farmers seeking volunteers for 2014 festival

Consider volunteering during Sequim Lavender Weekend, July 18-20, read what current volunteers say about the experience, then sign up to meet new friends as a Lavender Ambassador through the Sequim Lavenders Farmers Association.

Terry and Barbara Marsh volunteered the first time in 2013 and plan to return this year. When evaluating the experience, Terry said that the thing they liked most was the interaction with “people — other volunteers, Fair staff, farm personnel, vendors and visitors. My experience was basically all positive.”

Sue Pechina agrees. This year will be her 14th year as a volunteer and she intends to carve out time for a shift in spite of several other commitments, including houseguests.

“I volunteer because I love meeting and greeting the people who come from all over,” Pechina said at a recent organizational meeting with other volunteer leaders.

Sue Pierce, who will be volunteering for the eighth year and typically works 24 hours over the course of the weekend, said, “Working near vibrant purple fields with lavender-scented breezes and sharing our farms and community with excited visitors is why I come back each year.”

None of this comes as a surprise to Melissa Murray, who coordinates the volunteers and shares their sentiments. Since starting in 2012, she gradually has increased her dependence on their dedication. Last year, she implemented volunteer managers at each farm on the tour and — in recognition of their important role during Sequim Lavender Weekend — began calling the volunteers Lavender Ambassadors.

Lavender Ambassadors primarily greet the public, provide information or sell tickets. They can choose to work at one of seven locations: Purple Haze Lavender, Jardin du Soleil Lavender, Olympic Lavender, Washington Lavender, Lost Mountain Lavender, the Fair at Carrie Blake Park or the Sequim Lavender Welcome Center presented by 7 Cedars Casino. Additional opportunities exist at the Fair in Carrie Blake Park.

In exchange for four or more hours of service during the weekend, Lavender Ambassadors receive a Farm Tour ticket and T-shirt. Those who work hours above and beyond will receive more, including an invitation to a buffet.

Volunteers are asked to attend a training session the week prior to the event.

Those interested in becoming a Lavender Ambassador should e-mail Murray at volunteer@sequimlavender.org, or call 360-681-7532.

The Sequim Lavender Farmers Association is a nonprofit organization.

 

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