Written by Mary Lynn Oglesbee
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the special National Volunteer Week spread in the April 10, 2019, edition of the Northfield News.
Northfield High School’s Rock and Roll Revival is a Northfield Community Event. While it is performed by an amazing group of talented high school students, the show would not be possible without the support of numerous volunteers.
“Rock and Roll Revival is truly a community affair,” says Ray Croudet, show director. “In 2017, we had over 2,000 hours of parent volunteer time, and help from businesses such as the Northfield News, KYMN, Quarterback Club, Gran Plaza, Larson’s Printing and more.”
Many of the parents first volunteer when their child is involved in the production, but it doesn’t stop there. Nancy and Larry Stuckmayer are two of these long-time volunteers. “We did it (volunteered) because of our kids and their friends, and we really got to see how big the production was and how much help is needed to make it run smoothly,” she says. “I now help with ticket sales even though my children have graduated. I think after all these years, Ray has it down to a science, and is able to get great parent volunteers who are committed to help for the kids’ sake. It’s truly a labor of love!”
Jill Ponder fed the cast and crew in 2013, 2015, and 2017, feeding approximately 120 people nine meals each performance year. Fifty volunteers worked with her to make sure the students were nourished and ready to go on stage. With a background in the food industry, she knows the “power in sitting down and breaking bread together.” Relationships are formed that go beyond the duration of the show.
Ponder encourages anyone to participate in the show each person brings their own gifts to the production. Another reason is simply that volunteering provides personal benefit. “There are studies that show a correlation between level of happiness and the amount one volunteers to work with other people, for a greater cause,” she says. “It is super rewarding and sparks a chemical reaction in the brain.”
One of the reasons Amy Allin continues to volunteer is her belief in the power the event provides in building connections and meaningful relationships. This may be a relationship between students, a student with a parent volunteer or with an adult who is there to share their expertise and knowledge.
As a teaching professional, she is alert to what the students are learning through their involvement in Rock and Roll Revival. She says, “It is an authentic way to learn. They learn time management, how to troubleshoot and problem solve, how to take on responsibility and lead.”
She watches their evolution from being nervous and scared to having confidence.
These three volunteers, and the hundreds of other volunteers who have been involved over the years, are all committed to helping young people be successful while making the show a hit. What a gift they all bring to the Northfield Community!