Today we talk with Amy Tasker Ponce who has spent a number of years volunteering in different areas for The Baby Fold and for the Festival. Most recently, she is serving on the Steering Committee in Celebrity Place.
Amy, Thanks for taking the time to talk today. You work year-round as a member of the Steering Committee.
How/Why Did You First Get Involved with the Baby Fold and the Festival of Trees?
I had been volunteering at The Baby Fold in other areas and they needed extra help at The Festival. I was placed in Celebrity Trees (now Celebrity Place) and met Devon Neise the chair of that area. She recruited me to join the committee! The first year I volunteered was the last year at the Sale Barn. I then decorated trees, contacted celebrities and became a co-chair for the 2004 Festival.
When Did You First Start Volunteering for Festival of Trees?
Tell Us About the Areas You Have Volunteered and About Your Experience
I have always been mainly in Celebrity Place and have been a co-chair since January 2004. The Festival of Trees is all about the children of The Baby Fold. It is always important to keep that in mind when volunteering. There are children here in Bloomington/Normal that need the money we raise every year!
I have also met so many great people over the past 9 years during set up, tear down and all the incredible people I have had the pleasure to work with on the Steering Committee.
What Is Your Favorite Part of the Festival?
Opening Night~It is just so breathtaking to see the finished product! I always breathe a sigh of relief once everything is in place and Opening Night begins! We are sometimes still sweeping up and putting boxes under tables until 5 minutes before, but we always seem to get it done! I also love hearing all the wonderful comments people say as they come in and appreciate all the hard work that has gone in to getting the Festival up and running each year!
I also love taking my kids! Andrew (13) & Benjamin (5) help and volunteer all year. Andrew has grown up at The Festival and Benjamin will do the same. My husband, Ed, helps as well! He always has some great suggestions and insight for improvement. It is a true family affair.
Anything Else You Would Like to Add?
I know that some people have mixed feelings about us returning to The Coliseum, but we are making changes for the better! We learned and are improving this year. Will it be PERFECT??? No, probably not! There is always room for improvement, but the people that continue to volunteer their time every year really do the best they can!! If you see something that you think can be better….PLEASE let someone know! We can always use more hands and expertise