Shores of Erie committee honours Wine Fest volunteers at appreciation dinner

 

Shores of Erie Wine Festival chairperson Karen Gyorgy presents Forgi Vascilotto (left) and Eva Castellan with the Jon Hall Volunteer of the Year award during the SOE Wine Festival volunteer appreciation dinner at the AMA Sportsmen’s Association Club on Aug. 13. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

Shores of Erie Wine Festival chairperson Karen Gyorgy presents Forgi Vascilotto (left) and Eva Castellan with the Jon Hall Volunteer of the Year award during the SOE Wine Festival volunteer appreciation dinner at the AMA Sportsmen’s Association Club on Aug. 13. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

Shores of Erie Wine Festival volunteers are recognized for 10 years of consecutive service during the SOE Wine Festival volunteer appreciation dinner at the AMA Sportsmen’s Association Club on Aug. 13. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

Shores of Erie Wine Festival volunteers are recognized for 10 years of consecutive service during the SOE Wine Festival volunteer appreciation dinner at the AMA Sportsmen’s Association Club on Aug. 13. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

By Adam D’Andrea

 

The Shores of Erie Wine Festival organizing committee took time to honour their volunteers last Wednesday, awarding two long-time volunteers with the Jon Hall Volunteer of the Year award.

Held at the AMA Sportsmen’s Association Club, the SOE Wine Festival volunteer dinner was a chance to show appreciation to those who dedicate their time and work to the festival each year. Chairperson Karen Gyorgy, who estimated that around 400 volunteers help run the event, said regardless of how much work the SOE organizing committee puts into the festival it’s the volunteers who “make it or break it.”

“The volunteers are the first people you meet when you go into the festival … that’s the first impression and first impressions are so very important,” Gyorgy said. “If they’re greeted with a ‘Hi, hello, can I help you,’ it’s much different than somebody just looking and not saying a word.”

The Jon Hall Volunteer of the Year award, which was created three years ago to recognize SOE volunteers who go above and beyond, was presented to Eva Castellan and Forgi Vascilotto.

“It did not matter what I asked them to do, they were there. They supported every event, they served in our VIP tents, they gave out brochures at the gate,” said Gyorgy. “Even when Eva could not help, Forgi would recruit her sister Lena to help. They have never let us down.”

In addition to the Volunteer of the Year award, a handful of volunteers were commended for dedicating 10 years of consecutive service to the festival. Those recognized for providing a decade of volunteer work were Paul Mersch, Mike Primeau, Anne Rota, Helga and Bob Bailey, Jeff and Anne Marie Baker, Lorraine Cantin, Adelia Digaetano, Lucille Goulard, Veronica Kirk, Gabe Marano, Noel Meloche, Guy Moscatello, Bruce and Bea Patterson, Pat and Norm Potter, Gene Sliepenbeek, Rosa White, Frank Beaudoin and Karen Gyorgy.

The SOE Wine Festival takes place Sept. 4-7 at Fort Malden National Historic Site, and will feature entertainment from Walk off the Earth, Serena Ryder, celebrity chef Rob Rainford and more. Additional information can be found at www.soewinefestival.com.

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