ALPENA -The Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau is in the process of putting together a special group of volunteers who would lend a hand at special events, light office work and, most importantly, help spread the positive message of what Alpena has to offer. If this sounds like the job for you, then you may be able to join the CVB's "A-Team."
Director Mary Beth Stutzman said at this time the CVB doesn't have a lot of help and as more exciting events are planned in Alpena a helping hand would be appreciated. She said the volunteer team would be similar to the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce's ambassadors, who support the chamber.
"Right now it is just an army of one, that's me. To put it plainly, I need help," Stutzman said. "There is a lot of behind the scenes work nobody hears about and this is a big opportunity for people who love the community to get involved and give back."
There will be a simple form that volunteers complete that lets Stutzman know more about the work, and the information will help her determine how best to take advantage of skills they have. She said there will be a wide variety of ways volunteers will be used. She said some could help around the office, while others may be utilized during events like this summer's Harley Owners Group Rally in July and the visit of the cruise ship "Yorktown."
"The form will collect contact information, interests and skill set," Stutzman said. 'This won't be something where people come to a meeting once a month. We will have a big rally to kick it off and then we will take a look at upcoming events and programs we want to host and see where they can help. They may be needed to stuff envelopes or other day to day things at the office.
"We want the volunteers to have a fulfilling experience and they will be given unique and exciting information about exciting things that are happening before the rest of the community knows. They will be in the loop."
Stutzman said she has noticed over the last several years that many of the local volunteers are familiar faces who have done volunteer or charity work for a long time. She said this is a chance for others to step up and support Alpena and the cause to make it the best it can be.
"I have seen with organizations around town that have events that have been around for a long time, the volunteers are becoming burned-out from doing it year after year," Stutzman said. "There isn't a lot of new blood coming into the system. They are great events, and the community needs them, so what do you do? This team would be something where people could come to me and maybe we can offer them volunteer help."
The CVB hopes to have the team formed by early summer, just in time for several large events. She said there also are events next year where volunteers will be needed and people wishing to take part don't have to live within the Alpena County lines. She said when she thinks of Alpena the outlying areas are included in the thought.
"The A-Team is open to anyone. The only requirement is the person has an undying love for northeastern Michigan," Stutzman said. "It can be people that live here currently, people that moved away and want to help in some way. It isn't restricted. It is for anyone who loves Alpena and wants to help."
If you are interested in becoming a member of the A-Team or need more information you can contact Stutzman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com