Last week we honored our amazing group of people at the 2015 Lotus Volunteer Recognition Party, an annual public celebration of our wonderful volunteers who support the Lotus mission and programming throughout the year. Invitees included active volunteers who volunteered at the 2014 Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, 2015 Lotus Blossoms and Bazaar, or helped out with Edible Lotus, Sewing Day, or in the Lotus Office.

In addition to enjoying food, fellowship, and the opportunity to hear from notable speakers within the Lotus organization, many volunteers also received special acknowledgement for their dedicated service. Awards were given to those who served as volunteers for 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years. Additionally, Kevin Atkins and Brandi Host received the Spirit of Lotus award, a special recognition of volunteers who have volunteered for several years and in several capacities, and who have gone above and beyond in their service to the Lotus organization.

“Celebrating our Lotus Volunteers is always such a wonderful experience for me, personally,” said Tamara Loewenthal, Lotus’ Volunteer Coordinator (you can read all about Tamara here). “I look out and see a room full of people happily engaging in conversation, finding friends or making friends, and I know almost all of them because they are part of the Lotus family. The Lotus mission of bringing great music to Bloomington has brought the greatest group of long-term, committed volunteers together, who create magic for the entire city. We know how many people attend the Festival and are touched by Blossoms, but it boggles my mind to see so many volunteers, all in one room, and know that we are all there because we believe in the power of world music, to open our minds and bring us together. It is nothing short of amazing!”

If you are interested in becoming part of the Lotus volunteer family, the online application for the 2015 Festival will be available July 1.

Pictured (from left to right):
1) Volunteer party sign
2) 5yr volunteers pictured (left to right): Wendy Bernstein, Sherry Mitchell-Bruker, Luiz Lopes, Ruth Boshkoff
3) 10yr volunteers pictured (left to right): Luci McKean, Michele Nix
4) 15yr volunteers pictured (left to right): Mark Hurley, Jeanne Leimkuhler, Gail Hale
5) 20yr volunteers pictured (left to right): John Dehnver, Jillian Kinzie, Bill Holladay, Steve Volan
6) Spirit of Lotus Awards: Kevin Atkins and Brandi Host
7) From left to right: Cherri, Joe and Jeanne
8) Jillian Kinzie, a Lotus board member, speaking
9) From left to right: Lee, E.J. and Brandi
10) LuAnne and Bill Holladay
11) Post-party fun!
12) Pictures of the Volunteer Quilt: The quilt includes every Lotus volunteer t-shirt design from 2004 (first year we had t-shirts) to 2014. Designers represented: Brian Garvey, LuAnne Holladay, Terry Howe, Deborah Klein, Kayleigh Lebak, Katie Vernon. Quilt made in support of Lotus Volunteering by LuAnne Holladay