Another blog post on appreciation? Didn’t I just write about this? Sure, but there’s more to report–last Friday, April 19th, was the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, and the day was filled with all sorts of things we are always happy to have, like good food, lovely music, and rooms full of interesting people. There was even a prescient sign sent by the universe (or was it Confucius?) to let us know the event was going to be a success–a fortune from a cookie I’d gotten at 5 Happiness weeks before and left in my car ended up getting stuck to my coffee cup, and eventually landed on the desk where we set up the salad. It read “Great! You’re ready for a party!” I am absolutely not making this up. Rachel even took a picture of it and posted it on our Facebook wall.
It was really a kick to see everyone out of the studios, meeting and mingling. After all, even though the readers all come to the station to donate their hours of time, it doesn’t necessarily mean they get to know each other. The Monday readers have never met the folks who come on weekends, and the late afternoon people aren’t there when the early morning newspaper is being read; amazingly, sometimes readers who are even scheduled at the same time on the same day don’t know each other because they are secluded in a soundproof studio, alone, while a wall separates them from the others. That’s why this luncheon is so much fun and so important–it’s good to get to know the other guy in the next room who embodies the same values and dedication to WRBH. I’ll give you two examples to prove my point: Carolyn Cornia and Ray Lang seemed to be hitting it off famously, laughing and talking like old friends. Turns out, they’ve known each other as NEIGHBORS for years, but had no idea that they were both readers at WRBH.. Same thing with Brian Sands and Kerry Ermon, who’ve shared many happy memories as close friends, but didn’t know they shared the station as well. It was also fascinating to observe when someone recognized another reader by voice alone, because after all, that’s how most of our listeners do it, too.
One of the most touching moments for me came when I contacted Adrienne Petrosini to tell her about the event (she’s changed emails and I ended up having to message her on Facebook) and she immediately asked “What would you like me to bring?” She was surprised when I answered “Nothing!” , but part of the joy of this annual party is being able to give back to the readers for a change. The staff took care of the food (Rachel provided the salad and the pralines, Natalia did the fruit salad and the cookies, I made the seafood jambalaya and the brownies, the generous John Nguyen donated the delectable Vietnamese banh mi poboys, and Guy Gonzalez’s Lemonade Service did the tangy homemade lemonade.) New volunteer Kerry Ermon brought her flute and gave us exquisite background music to nosh by, and although it was cold and rainy outside and the news stories breaking on Friday were disturbing and tense, it was warm and happy from 11-2 p.m. inside at 3606 Magazine Street. Thanks to all who came and we’re looking forward to doing it again next year!