Local outreaches line up to recruit helpers

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There are 14 volunteer initiatives on the roster for the City of Kilgore’s Sept. 4 recruiting event in the Texan Theater, and spots are still open for groups looking to add to their list of helpers.

“We’ve had some great response from organizations that want to be involved that are absolutely desperate for volunteers,” said Sonya Trout, Kilgore special events coordinator and Main Street Manager.

Each participating group is bringing a dish to help draw guests to the South Kilgore Street venue on the first Tuesday in September: admission is free 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that evening as the organizations set-up booths and provide information about their respective programs.

Opportunities range from helping feed people in need (Saturday Bread and Helping Hands will be on-site), keeping children well-educated and physically fit (Kilgore Boys & Girls Club and Ignition Station will be there) to welcoming independent filmmakers to town (as Reel East Texas Film Festival prepares for its second event in mid-November).

Other would-be volunteers may want to help clean-up their community through Kilgore Improvement & Beautification Association or dip their toes into local history at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting & Communications or Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation. Avalon Faire is also looking for helpers at its adventure-entertainment on FM1252, and organizers with the Special Abilities Family Fun Event have signed up to collect more names to help make SAFFE Day a success with the seventh annual event fast-approaching Sept. 15.

Other participants, so far, include Friends of Kilgore Public Library, Kilgore Rotary Club, Trout’s Main Street Program and the chamber of commerce’s Visit Kilgore outreach.

“It’s such a great opportunity to get the message out to the community and hopefully get some volunteers to sign up,” Trout said.

In addition to the free, help-yourself meal, participating organizations are brainstorming additional ways to draw potential volunteers to the Texan Sept. 4.

For example, “We will be having a raffle thanks to SAFFE Day,” Trout said. “We will have two gift certificates up-for-grabs for Rugaru Adventures in Broken Bow,” a special zip line package.

“We’ll also have giveaways from different organizations, and there will be plenty of finger food provided.”

Any organizations ready to reserve a spot at the event can sign-up online via surveymonkey.com/r/VolExpo18. Search for “Kilgore Volunteer Expo” on Facebook.com. For more information, contact Trout at 903-988-4117.

– By JAMES DRAPER

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