By Michelle M. Smith
GALVA – Volunteerism has been described as an action of the heart. Those who attend the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series have seen many volunteers out in the crowd, identifiable by their white t-shirts with the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series logo on them.
Watching them at work raises the question, how many people does it take to pull off such a huge musical event each week? The answer… more than 100 dedicated volunteers – an increase of an additional 30 volunteers since last year’s event.
The next concert in the series is Sunday, June 23, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Wiley Park, featuring Swedish quintet Jaerv and Tom Sharpe.
Volunteers say they are driven to support this huge undertaking because they believe in what they are doing and the positive impact it is having on their community.
John Taylor is the person instrumental in seeking out the Levitt AMP (your city) Music Series $25,000 match grant and asking people to get on board. His vision captured the whole city.
“When I started things out in 2017, I had no idea if there would be any support for these concerts,” Taylor said. “I thought I would be the only person in the park on Sunday, but boy, was I wrong! As soon as people started hearing about it, they were lining up asking, ‘How can I help’.”
Two individuals among this group are Tina Hutchison and Tami Siemers.
Hutchison is a retired registered nurse and that quality of caring is obvious in her role as Assistant Vehicle Driver. She has volunteered for two years and her main function is to provide transportation.
“I help everyone,” Hutchison explains. “I transport anyone that is having difficulty, whether it be physical, carrying a heavy cooler, chairs, or walking from afar.”
She also helps other committee volunteers transport items.
“I have helped haul water, tables and all kinds of supplies,” she said. “I volunteer because I enjoy being involved and helping others.”
If you stop by the information booth at the event, you will likely meet Siemers, who has also been with the music series for the past two years. Like Hutchison, she helps in a variety of ways, including serving as treasurer for the organization, but is most known for her work as one of the information booth volunteers.
She assists visitors with questions regarding the location of things, what the Levitt AMP Galva Concert Series is about, upcoming events and a myriad of other questions. She can also be seen out in the crowd of concert goers checking and selling raffle tickets.
Siemers said her favorite part is seeing how everyone comes together, visiting with friends, making new ones, and laughing, dancing and having a great time.
“Where else can you go to a free concert on a Sunday evening,” Siemers asks? “It is a place people love to be and I love being a part of it!”
These two individuals emulate the same spirit of giving to their community that the 98 other volunteers possess. Although space does not allow the mention of every volunteer by name, it seems clear that they must also believe in the positive impact the music series is having on Galva.
“The volunteer group is like a family – we spend a lot of time together, sharing great experiences and overcoming challenges as a group,” Taylor said. “A friend asked me the other day, ‘How many volunteers do you need to put on the Levitt concerts?’ My answer was, “You only need one person to put on a concert, but without the volunteers it wouldn’t have nearly the impact.
“The more volunteers there are, the greater the ownership and the greater the impact.”
By Michelle M. Smith