PLANT CITY – The Florida Strawberry Festival recently treated its small army of volunteers to a meal, entertainment and prizes, just to say thanks.
Nearly half of the festival’s 2,000 volunteers were on hand for the annual appreciation dinner on the festival grounds. Festival General Manager Paul Davis said the annual celebration of strawberries, “could not take place without our volunteers.”
Davis said the festival couldn’t afford to hire enough employees to fill in for the volunteers, who perform such tasks as staffing the information booths and helping back stage with headline entertainers.
“They are what makes the strawberry festival different and wonderful. They have a love and compassion for the community and it shows,” he said.
The volunteers tend to come back year after year, information committee chairwoman Pam Warnock said.
“We have some of the most wonderful, giving people here in our community, and we’re honored that they choose to be a part of the festival,” she said.
At the appreciation dinner, many volunteers won door prizes that ranged from home décor to gift cards. Nancy Plantenga, the grand prize winner, won a $400 VISA gift card.