Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh Florida...

We’ve had an adventurous few days here in Florida so far. I don’t think I’ve ever come to Florida for shows and came back with a report that is was ‘normal’ or ‘kinda boring’. SOMETHING of note always seems to happen in the Sunshine State, and typically that something will involve bugs, heat and/or bad weather.

Gainesville got off to a bit of a rocky start. The venue was much smaller than anyone had anticipated – we were able to have a table inside, but we couldn’t float around like we normally do. So that meant our table was in, but our volunteers were out. It ended up working fine though – we had an amazing team join us, and they pretty much talked to about every other person that was coming to the show!

Our team of volunteers included Tricia, who had volunteered with us at the Daytona 500 NASCAR event last year, Brady, a freshman at UF who has been involved with ONE for a while but was volunteering for the first time, and Christine and Leah, UF students who definitely figured out the best way to get their fellow students on board with our work! We also had Holly and Jaimie joining us, and Yee, a UF law student who was technically suppose to be volunteering for another non-profit, but that non-profit couldn’t set up and since she was already there, she joined us! They all did AMAZING – this was seriously one of the best volunteer crews we’ve worked with all year long! I love nights like the night we had in Gainesville – the odds were stacked against us, the day started off with everything going wrong, but our volunteers all showed, we had a great training, and they worked harder than we could have ever asked and even looked like they were having a good time doing it!

Tampa Volunteer Crew

We hit Tampa the next afternoon, ready to work, and deal with Florida’s never ending late summer rain. We were expecting a typical light summer Florida shower while we set up. We were able to set up with no problems, we went through another great volunteer training with no problems, and we got to work with no problems, but then our luck turned. Our light summer shower turned out to be a storm of what seemed like apocalyptic proportions. Before we knew it our tents had turned into a shelter for a bunch of very wet DMB fans and our bewildered volunteer crew. Our team in Tampa included Joe, a first time volunteer who came to the show with his friend Katherina, Penny who was a first time volunteer, Missy and Dave, a couple from upstate New York who are going to school in Florida, and Sam and Kelley, who get bonus points for offering to come volunteer with about 12 hours notice! The team did great, getting hundreds of Dave fans signed up before the rain cut our night short. Loading out wasn’t much fun, but so it goes!

My team will be in West Palm Beach this weekend, and I’m heading off to start the Common Tour in Dallas – watch for more updates soon!


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