Saturday, December 4, 2010

Volunteer Recognition

CCCC 2010 Holiday Banquet
Today was my Cajun Clickers Computer Club's annual Holiday Banquet, where volunteers were honored for their contributions. I brought my Mom's Sweet Potato with Marshmellows Casserole, and there was tons of food and about 50 people. Turns out, I was one of the honored volunteers, being as I built the club's website earlier this year,, and still maintain it.  It was at last year's Christmas Banquet that I volunteered to build it, which required several meetings with the board and it took 3 months to build, but maintaining it is only about 2-5 hours/month so you can tell by the puzzled look on my face, I didn't really expect to be mentioned. Since I live mostly in the moment, 8 months ago seems way far back in the past. So many other people in this very active club do so much more on a daily basis. I didn't know John was taking a video and it's the only picture, so here is my presentation, given by our outgoing President, Roger Carlyle.

Gifts:  CD with 13 freeware programs, CCCC mouse pad,
box of sticky notes of various shapes and colors.
I also got a picture frame in the drawing.
Many other volunteers received award plaques, and/or were mentioned.

Roger is a gracious person.  He always comes up with gifts to give out at every function, plus he organizes drawings, raffles, and auctions throughout the year.  Here are 3 gifts everyone got at the banquet:

Phil and Michele.  We always have fun together.
I had John take another picture of me with our Educational Director, Phil Chenevert, who received a Lifetime Membership Award.  As soon as I joined, Phil snagged me at the first class I attended and got me busy volunteering.  As you can see by his Sanda hat and long blonde wig, Phil enjoys cutting up, also he's an expert at managing people, and spends countless hours at the clubhouse.  He certainly deserves his award.

Penny being honored by President Roger.
 My other good friend from way back (her son was my student for years), Penny Cano, the club's Membership Coordinator and an instructor, got a Lifetime Membership Award, too. She shies away from photos, but John got a rear view of her receiving her award.  She is very dedicated to the club, and helps a lot of members out with their crashed computers, including me.  She alone has been worth the annual dues!

 As to volunteerism, I've volunteered with lots of clubs whose mission I believed in.  Two years back, I built and now maintain my dog club's website, for which they renew my Clean Run subscription for me every year.  Sweet!  It's a $48/year subscription and the only magazine I have ever read cover to cover every month.

Recognition, even if modest, is nice.  Some clubs are better at it than others.  In my experience, most seem to take their volunteers for granted, expecting services in exchange for . . . . . er, nothing.  I think people volunteer to further a cause, and get paid back in comradery, connections, and the few perks they receive.  In my dog club's and computer club's case, it is largely for the learning which couldn't be purchased at any price if there weren't other club members willing to share their knowledge.

In any case, my feeling is that if members were better engaged from the start, better mentored, better recognized, more appreciated, there would be more volunteers.  While clubs don't generally pay for services, most clubs do have some free perks they can distribute, the biggest one being friendship.

So, it was a very enjoyable day.  I dressed up, and noticed that with me wearing mostly tennis shoes this last year for agility practice, my dress shoes with the 2" heels really hurt my feet.  I can hardly walk in heels any more!

So it's onward and upwards now, in my tennies!

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