Recently I had the pleasure of assisting a gentleman who was working to revive an event in our community that had lost its national funding. Coming down from Washington, he was only able to spend 1 day in Prineville putting together sponsors, volunteers, and over-all getting assistance in pulling off this child-focused program that was only weeks away.
In our conversation, he asked if we have any weekends without an event in this small town, as he was shocked at how many posters he saw around for upcoming events. It was a lighthearted and playful comment, but he was seriously surprised at the variety of events our summer entails. His marketing position takes him to all sizes of communities across the country, and he said he wasn’t sure if he had ever seen such an engaged and supportive town. This is just one piece to the pie that makes Prineville an amazing place to live.
None of these events could exist without an amazing volunteer pool. Take for example the Crook County Fair (which the CC Foundation partners with to host the Picnic in the Park concert on August 8th). As someone who has participated and worked in the fair industry for most of my life, it is one of the most complicated and time-consuming festivals to produce. Just the sheer number of people who are involved with 4-H, FFA, open class exhibits, entertainment, operations, etc. is in the hundreds. But a dedicated consortium works year-round to makes it happen each August for young and old to enjoy!
This gentleman, as a guest in our community for only 1 day, saw a side of volunteering that is different than most think of. Throughout our town, our citizens volunteered to help connect him with agencies, people, and sponsor dollars. More amazement struck him when he ran into our Prineville Police Community Officer in a parking lot (who offered support for this event), a park official in a hardware store (who spent 30 minutes helping answer questions about park usage), and random people who offered to help him just by seeing the logo on his shirt. Small efforts like this happen every day in Prineville, generous people who love their community and want to see it thrive. For an event planner, or non-profit organization, these nuggets of goodwill all year long add up to tremendous support.
At the Western Days Festival, I ran into a couple vendors who asked if I thought an idea they had for a festival would work here. It was easy to reply that with a good idea, Prineville will back you! Our citizens want strong programs, activities to attend on weekends, arts and culture experiences, and most importantly a chance to socialize with those you might only see at events. From serving on committees, working as event staff, or providing guidance to a visitor on who they need to connect with – everyone can play a role. It has been exciting to see new events flourish and old events stand the test of time and expand into traditions.
With the variety of arts, music, galas, sports, educational programs, and more that we have in Crook County, everyone is sure to find a charitable cause that you are passionate about and may be willing to assist with. Not sure where to begin? Contact the Crook County Foundation and we can provide suggestions on what might be a good fit for you. The Foundation also has several opportunities, from serving on the Picnic in the Park committee to helping with the latest On the Move programs. Call Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please visit our website www.CrookCountyFoundation.org.