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Many of the people “directing traffic” at the Annual Conference such as this group, are volunteers for the organization. From left are Donna Ruzika, Jill Maurer, and Sherry Linnell, Stage Expo Troubleshooters.

Photo/Bill Browning

Have Fun; Volunteer!

Joe Aldridge

Volunteer: noun 1. a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking. 2. a person who performs a service willingly and without pay. adjective 3. of, pertaining to, or being a volunteer or volunteers: a volunteer fireman. verb (used without object) 4. to offer oneself for some service or undertaking. 5. to enter service or enlist as a volunteer. verb (used with object) 6. to offer (oneself or one's services) for some undertaking or purpose. USITT 7. the members

Volunteerism: noun 1. the policy or practice of volunteering one's time or talents for charitable, educational, or other worthwhile activities, esp. in one's community. USITT 2. the attribute of its members that make it a strong, viable membership organization (derived from

In my remarks at the Conference, I spoke of how I became involved in USITT activities. I took exactly the same path as many who served before me which is exactly the same path yet to be taken by those who follow. I volunteered. I saw the fun that my peers were having and wanted to be included. I offered to be a part of a panel at the conference in Wichita. I happened to have a lot of experience with firearms and firearm safety was a passion of mine. A friend of mine was slated to offer a panel on the subject and needed someone to serve as a panelist. I had so much fun that I volunteered again for Boston. The rest is history. I decided to come off of the sidelines and share my limited knowledge and endless enthusiasm for the industry.

Have you ever wondered how to become involved? Volunteer, it is as simple as that. Attend your regional section meetings and become involved. Form a student chapter at your school. Choose a couple of Commissions that interest you and attend the meetings at a conference. Offer to share the load. That is what every one of the people you see on panels, working as a student volunteer, adjudicating competitions, assisting with portfolio reviews have done. They have volunteered! The opportunities are endless. The members of USITT are its strength, its foundation.

Feel free to contact me at; any of the members of the Board; any of the Commissioners; any of the Fellows; or any of the USITT staff members if you have a strong desire to become involved and need assistance. Your time and energies will be greatly appreciated.

For those of you who are keeping score, five weeks and still going strong!

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