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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Volunteer coordinator calls for more community help

  • McPherson Opera House volunteer coordinator Trevor Wilson has noticed a decline in volunteers during the past few years.
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  • McPherson Opera House volunteer coordinator Trevor Wilson has noticed a decline in volunteers during the past few years.
    There were significantly more volunteers on its opening night three years ago, but willing helpers have grown sparse. Wilson would like to see a resurgence of community members invested in the Opera House and willing to represent McPherson to out-of-town guests.
    “I think there is a misconception around the community that since we’ve been around a few years, we have enough volunteers, and unfortunately, that’s not the case,” he said.
    This is especially true for months like March, where the venue has five big events.
    October through May is its busiest time of year. During that time, individuals come from all over to what may be their first and only experience in McPherson.
    “In addition to helping the Opera House, they (volunteers) are really serving as ambassadors for McPherson,” he said. “If we do our job right, hopefully they’ll come back.”
    Volunteers can serve during shows in a number of ways, including taking tickets, ushering, greeting, selling concession items and bartending. Outside of this capacity, individuals are also needed to give docent tours and to work at Apartment 6, a resale shop that donates sales to the Opera House.
    “I think it gets their face out in the community,” Wilson said. “It can create both personal and business relationships down the road.”
    Volunteer hours are flexible, with no minimum or maximum number of hours required.
    The minimum age is 18.
    There are about 40 volunteers available to Wilson, with only 15 to 20 who are active. He would like to see more younger individuals, including college students who are only around for a few years.
    “I would like numbers to be as big as they could be,” he said. “If we had 100 people wanting to help, we would work with them. We can’t have too many, honestly. If they have the enthusiasm for McPherson and our building, that’s really all we need.”
    An informational meeting for volunteers is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Opera House, followed by a showing of “The Wizard of Oz.” This event will be similar to other benefits of being involved, as volunteers are invited to participate in special movie nights and other functions.
    Wilson hopes that the community will learn to enjoy being a part of the Opera House as much as he does - it’s a family thing, as his grandparents played a part in the building’s restoration.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s a really rewarding opportunity,” he said. “For me, it’s a sense of helping the community, helping our building. You get to see some good shows for free and really meet some neat folks.”
    For questions, call Wilson at 620-241-7808.
    Contact Jenae Pauls at jenae.pauls@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel
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