Volunteer Spotlight: Help Manage Parking at Quechee Balloon Festival

Valley New Correspondent
Friday, June 08, 2018

Quechee — The Hartford Parks and Recreation Department needs 60 volunteers to help manage guest parking during the Quechee Balloon Festival, which takes place June 15-17.

The parking will be used as a fundraiser for the Brian Hanson Scholarship Fund, which gives financial assistance to residents of Hartford who would otherwise be unable to afford to participate in the department’s activities. The department is hoping to raise $5,000 by managing parking.

“We wanted to create sustainability (for the) scholarship program,” said Scott Hausler, director of the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s really important for us to make sure we always have the funding.”

The scholarship is named for Brian Hanson, who died in 2012. After his death, his family donated money to the department in his honor.

“We wanted to do something positive to honor Brian’s lifelong love of games and sport,” said his mother, Mary Hanson, who is the secretary for the Hartford High School Athletic Department.

Last year, Brian’s sister, Anne Hanson Curtis, ran The Hyannis (Mass.) Marathon to raise another $7,000 for the scholarship fund, which was renamed in Brian’s honor.

“(Brian’s) passing forced us to ask: How can we all live our best lives everyday, in a positive and healthy way, and shed what doesn’t work?” Hanson said. “The search for the answer is lifelong, and segues into the positive programming and experiences that our little (recreation department) and volunteers can provide, that a child may not have access to were it not for financial help.”

Parking volunteers are needed to cover four-hour shifts from 2-9:30 p.m. on Friday; from 5 a.m.-9:30 p.m. on Saturday; and from 5 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday. Volunteers must be at least 16. Although most people will need to be able to walk and direct traffic, there are also positions that would be more appropriate for those with less mobility, Hausler said.

Volunteers will receive free admission to the event, plus a front-row seat if they’re working when the balloons launch in the mornings and evenings.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come out and help for a great cause,” Hausler said. “And it’s not only a good cause, but also a firsthand glimpse of the festivities. Any volunteer has the perfect view to see the balloons taking off.”

Editor’s note: Volunteers can sign up at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QBFParking2018. For more information, contact the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department at 802-295-5036.