This week was the Volunteer Appreciation Party for the hundreds of people that help at the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival. If you don’t already know about the party, l need to explain that this party is the reason lots of Mountain View residents volunteer to work long, hot shifts, in the sun, pouring beer or wine. It’s that good.
For several months before the party, the Chamber works on putting together some really incredible raffle prizes. There were about 50 prizes this year. One woman, who was very enthusiastic, to say the least, came up to me afterwards, and told me that she kept thinking to herself, “If I win this one, I’m going to start crying!” Oh, and we serve lots of beer and wine, which probably contributes to the excitement level while were giving away the raffle prizes.
The party is always in the bar, Lucky’s Place, at Shoreline Amphitheatre. We had a DJ, and the party was catered by Capriottis Sandwich Shop in San Jose. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re an east coast company that recently came to the Bay Area and they’re famous for their meatball sandwiches. The people at the party loved the food and there was plenty of it.
After the prizes have all been passed out, the dancing starts and it’s so much fun to see the volunteers enjoying themselves and getting to know each other. Many of them met each other while they were pouring beer and wine together, but they didn’t get the chance to talk because they were so busy working during the festival.
On the way out of the party at Shoreline Amphitheatre, we stacked up all the leftover t-shirts and beer and wine glasses on a few 6 foot tables. People could help themselves to as many as they wanted. That's right, a free-for-all.
I still remember the first time I went to this party. I was a festival volunteer before I was staff at the Chamber. I went to the party by myself and sat with some strangers. They ended up having a great story about how they had moved here from Russia and the volunteered in hopes of getting to know the community a little better. They thought it was the perfect way to learn about Mountain View.
Personally, I love helping at the party, because I get to pretend like I’m a cocktail server for the evening. It’s so much fun. Please keep this party in mind next year when the Chamber of Commerce is asking for volunteers to help at the festival. It’s pretty easy to be a volunteer and this party is loads of fun. You’ll definitely feel appreciated.
The revenue generated from the Art & Wine Festival helps support Chamber programs, like Leadership Mountain View, ILoveMV.org (hey! that's me!) and our scholarship program. This year we plan on giving away 10 scholarships for 5k and also on helping the recipients for all four years that they're in college. We currently have a goal of raising 200k for scholarships.
The festival also helps fund the Chamber staff, so we can do things like answer your questions about our community. Questions like: Where should I go our for dinner tonight, where should I go to get my transmission fixed, where can I rent space to have a big party, where can I rent an apartment and where can I go to get ombre highlights? We have all the answers. Or at least most of them. We also answer tons of questions about doing business in the city and we steer people in the right direction when they want to open a business here. We also have a very active BIPP (business in public policy) program, that involves advocacy for business owners.
Stop by the Chamber next time you have any questions about our community, and please plan on volunteering at the Art & Wine Festival next year. I love Mountain View.