Friends of Will – September 2012

I can no other answer make, but thanks,
thanks, and ever thanks.
Twelfth Night  3.3

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the over 350 dedicated volunteers for their hours of commitment to the success of the Great River Shakespeare Festival. You have read about the increased interest and patronage; we trust you know you play a major role in this success. We look forward to your continued involvement as we look ahead to Season 10!! There will be more great theater and many volunteer opportunities.  We hope you will stay involved and help us recruit new volunteers as well.
~ Terry Hawkings & Dee Cipov Co-chairs, Friends of Will Steering Committee

The Friends of Will organization is one of the most unique and impressive groups of volunteers of which I’m aware from my experience directing at theatres around the country. Your quiet, unsung, and incredibly efficient, always cheerful way of stepping in to fill the gaps in our operation is amazing. . . so many times the job is simply ‘done’ before the need is even apparent. Whenever I encounter our volunteers, I sense such pride among their ranks, and an inspiring sense of ‘ownership’ of and dedication to the Festival. We may have brightened and enriched the lives of the hundreds of people who volunteer on behalf of the company, but trust me, our Friends brighten and enrich our lives every day we’re on the job. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for another great year of service! ~ Paul Barnes, Artistic Director
(Photo by Kathy Christenson)

Numbers Tell the Story: 
FOW Teams at Work

Front of House: 159 ushers provided 2292.25 hours of wonderful support. Ushers worked at 64 shows and 8 special events.  Nine head ushers added 191.25 hours and 63 ushers attended training. The breakdown of hours for shows and special events is: King Lear, 769; 
Two Gentlemen of Verona, 733.5; Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), 565.75; All’s Well that Ends Well, 115.5.  Special events: 108.5.  
Irene ErkenBrack, Director of Sales & Marketing/Assoc. Dir. of Development said, Everyone looked so professional and acted that way, helpful and happy to be there.

Will Reads, sponsored by the Education Team had an “awesome turnout” with over 30 people representing a wide age range at each of the three events.

Cheerful Transportation Team members made 49 trips to airports in Rochester, LaCrosse, Eau Claire and Minneapolis to bring company members and speakers to and from Winona.

New this year for the Distribution Team was the publishing of This Week in the Winona Post and Rochester Post-Bulletin. Our core of FOW continued to regularly check local establishments for the availability of GRSF brochures and rack cards plus many regionally spread the word and we believe even more always had GRSF promotion materials with them to share with friends, family, and strangers they met along their way.

The Hospitality Team served 50 cast and crew members lunch and 90 cast and crew members dinner for 8 days during their extremely busy “tech week”. These are the days where everything finally comes together and all are involved and busy! We take pride in our committee members and with their help in our ability to serve satisfying and nutritious meals that are very much appreciated! Whether you cooked or brought in items you purchased we could not have done it without you! Did I say very much appreciated!? That’s an understatement!

On behalf of the Great River Shakespeare Festival, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to each and every volunteer who gave of their time and talents this season. As a new member of staff, I was ASTOUNDED to realize the depth and breadth of GRSF’s volunteer base. It is humbling and extraordinary. I am so proud to tell others in our community and beyond what a strong volunteer sector we have. It speaks volumes to the community in Winona, and to the heart of the Great River Shakespeare Festival. Thank you for “holding us up” in Season 9.~Irene ErkenBrack, Director of Sales & Marketing/Assoc. Dir. of Development

Friends of Will Calendar Girls (and Men) thumped it up at the Callithump Accessories Parade.  Steering Committee carried objects representing the year-round contributions of the Friends of Will.  Shown above are Blandine  Berthelot, Jim Nelson, Terry Hawkings, Kris Blanchard, Dee Cipov, Mary Alice Anderson, Tom Hoffmann, and Marsha Yancy.  
Photos by Mary Alice Anderson

Diane Stevens, Terry Hawkings, Blandine Berthelot and Claire Smart worked at concessions while the Apprentice acting company performed All’s Well that Ends Well.  Dee Cipov visits with apprentice actor Robert Montgomery   Photos by Paul Barnes.

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