By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts recently held its 29th Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards and Dinner which paid tribute to the nearly 800 volunteers who donated 130,000 hours of community service during the past season.
More than 500 volunteers attended an appreciation dinner, which included Tamarac residents, who were entertained with a program featuring performances by a cast member of Slow Burn Theatre Company’s Shrek The Musical.
The event was sponsored by Florida Blue. Guests were greeted in the lobby by Doug Bartel, Senior Director of Business Development, Media and External Relations who addressed the volunteers from the stage.
“Our world-class Broward Center is celebrating another incredible year of inspiring and entertaining the community, which would not be possible without the army of amazing volunteers who work behind-the-scenes for each event,” said Bartel. “Florida Blue is incredibly proud to celebrate those volunteers and their efforts, and to work with the Broward Center in engaging audiences.”
Plantation resident Aven Roberts was recognized as the 2018-19 “Volunteer of the Year” for donating 2,199 hours during the season, which was the most by any volunteer. The prize package included tickets to a “Broadway in Fort Lauderdale” performance, a dinner gift certificate to Marti’s New River Bistro, and a gift basket filled with wine, snacks, and Broadway show souvenirs. She will also receive a commemorative brick on the Riverwalk.
Also recognized and awarded were Plantation resident Karen Greer who contributed 1,064 hours and Davie resident Karen Uris who donated 922 hours of volunteer time.
The Broward Center also recognized 47 volunteers who were applauded for service of 10 years or more and received their gold badge signifying this level of service and tickets to a show. Two volunteers were honored for their 20-year milestone of volunteering with a gold badge and tickets to a show.
Volunteers usher and serve as community ambassadors for the Broward Center and its affiliate venues: Parker Playhouse, the Rose & Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center at Nova Southeastern University, and the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. Volunteers commit to a regular weekly shift (choosing a regular evening or matinee) for the full season.
The Broward Center volunteer ushers are a dynamic mix of theater-lovers, from retired seniors and baby boomers to high school students, many of whom earn community service hours and volunteer alongside a parent or grandparent.
Volunteers are eligible to begin ushering performances upon completion of a three-hour orientation session that includes a tour of the Broward Center and an introduction to ushering. For more information, contact the volunteer office at 954-468-2684 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.