Volunteers make special weekend happen
Community members will get a treat the next four days in the form of the annual De Soto Watermelon Festival. It is an opportunity for old friends to return and share in the good times and for those new to the community to learn something of what this town is all about.
A casual festival-goer might browse Miller Park Saturday, enjoying the food, crafts, rides and entertainment the varied sights, sounds and smells that greet the senses with little appreciation of the work that made them possible. As with all too many community endeavors, it is the work of a few motivated individuals who make them spectacular.
Those who made this weekend possible were the members of the De Soto Watermelon Festival Committee. At the risk of overlooking worthy individuals, we salute the efforts of Max Atwell, Kathy Ross, Pat Atchison, Ron Crow, Jim Plummer, Denny Hougham and others who have labored during the past year to make this weekend happen.
Many have been volunteers on the committee for a number of years. This year's event will be better because they have learned from past successes and mistakes. But most of all, it will be better because they passionately care for the festival. They give their time because they want to share their understanding that De Soto is a unique and special place.
As Atwell has said, serving on the committee is a burnout job. Volunteers give up leisure hours to committee meetings, phone calls and organizational details. We can imagine that after a full day at work, the thought of that extra effort often held little appeal. As in the past, some of those who made this year's festival possible will give up their duties because of family considerations, business preoccupations or simple exhaustion.
Before any of this year's volunteers take that step, we want to thank the volunteers for their efforts. We imagine their real thanks will be the smiles they see on the faces of children enjoying rides, couples sharing a cool treat or families tapping their toes to music.