This past year marks the fourth year of the Gerry Turner Excellence in Volunteerism awards.
In 2011, when long-time volunteer Gerry Turner passed away, the Folk Festival – and the Bangor community – lost a dedicated advocate and volunteer. This annual volunteer award in his name honors his contributions and gives us the opportunity to recognize some of our inspirational volunteers.
This year, volunteer leaders and Festival-goers nominated members of the American Folk Festival volunteer team who exemplify dedication, enthusiasm, and excellence in service.
Here is what was written in the program at the 2014 American Folk Festival Volunteer of the Year Awards about this lovely young Volunteer Award Recipient:
MaggieBeth Turcotte, Festival Volunteer, junior
MaggieBeth has volunteered with the Festival since she was young and has always shown a high level of dedication to the success of the AFF. She has always gone above and beyond working with her mom and sister in the bucket brigade and the Children’s Village. She is someone you know you can count on to show up and do the ‘and then some’, never stopping when the job is done, always looking for more ways to help.
I spent some time chatting with this incredible young woman and learned some of what makes her tick.
Our very own MaggieBeth has gone to every Folk Festival this city has presented, from the National right up to last year. Just turning 15 a week ago, this young woman holds the essence and passion that is indeed the Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront!
6 years ago, at the ripe ol’ age of 9, she joined the Festival for the first time with her Mom and younger sister as a full-fledged volunteer. At that point, little did she know what she was getting into and how the passion for this musical event would come to be one of her very favorite things.
Here is an excerpt from our chat:
Me: Do you volunteer with the same people every year?
MBT: Yep, my mom and my sister and I stay together. We do the Bucket Brigade. We did the donation station one year; that was okay but I prefer moving around, getting the feel of the Festival, really being immersed in it!
Me: Any tips for success?
MBT: I just have fun, you gotta be outgoing and put yourself out there; we call out “Bucket Brigade!” And we smile and have fun! I don’t dress as flamboyant as Deb Neuman but I wear lots of necklaces, glow sticks and sometimes wrap myself in the stickers!
Me: Who does what?
MBT: We rotate around with the bucket, two people have the stickers and the bucket person has the maps. It’s fair; we divvy up the roles, you know, that keeps it fun!
Me: How are the shifts?
MBT: I think they are 2 or 3 hours, sometimes we are a bit later, but we always work over our time. One year we did 5 hours in a day – we just like helping out! We love being a part of it all!
Me: Favorite music?
MBT: I love everything that goes on the Penobscot Stage, all the traditions and cultures. I love classical and pop. Right now – my very favorite artist is Troye Sivan!
[Side note – I had to get her to spell Troye’s name for me! Love this kid!]
Me: Favorite food?
MBT: We always get kettle corn and blueberry smoothies. I love the crocodile nuggets!
Me: You worked in the Children’s Village?
MBT: Yup, I try to get in there for some time too; I like lending a hand in there; I like working with kids; I played games with them, whatever I could to do help… It was fun!
Me: Congratulations on this awesome award!
MBT: I was shocked to get the letter saying I won – I thought my sister would get it; she’s more outgoing than I am. The event was great – it was great to have a nice meal with my family and meet many wonderful people who work on the Folk Festival.
And with that, I wished her a happy belated birthday, she told me to enjoy the weather and we said our goodbyes!
This, my friends, is what the American Folk Festival in Bangor is all about. This young woman is so dedicated and enthusiastic about the Festival and her role; she is a treat to talk with and so very well deserving of this prestigious award!
Again – congratulations, MaggieBeth – thanks for being YOU!