This post could very well be sub-titled, “Adventures of the Spoiled Volunteer.”
And that would be me.
Take a quick peek at the volunteer action for today during the Tour of Paso benefit ride:
Looking back, way, way back, my very first volunteer activity when I was in high school was a complete bust, and I might have decided at that time to avoid it altogether in the future. My younger brother had juvenile diabetes, so I volunteered to help at some event benefiting some organization related to diabetes. We young volunteers stood around in the cold, wet, April drizzle outside of a suburban Detroit McDonald’s restaurant waiting to be given some assignment, and in the end they didn’t actually have anything for us to do. Like I said, bust.
Yet I kept volunteering for things over the years and even more so recently. Maybe it’s a genetic pre-disposition. During the year since I relocated to San Luis Obispo County, in the central coast wine country of California, I have been volunteering like so
- As a weekly ride leader for the San Luis Obispo Cycling Club, leading rides amongst the viney hills of north county and sometimes out to the ocean. I even get to *design* the routes to go where I personally want to traverse.
- Worked the check-in desk for the “Real Men Drink Pink” event to benefit the Cancer Support Community in Paso Robles where I got to hang out at Star Farms near San Miguel and meet Casey Biggs the “Paso Wine Man”, and earned the sweetest pink t-shirt I’ve ever had.
- Worked the cleanup crew at the California Beerfest to benefit the Hospice SLO organization. While you might think this would be a dangerous assignment for an enthusiastic micro-brew consumer, we volunteers were in fact not allowed to consume even a meager tasting vial of golden elixir before or during our shifts. Being that I was working the *last* shift, I felt as if I was hearing the soup nazi say “no beer for you!” Nonetheless, it was a lovely spring day in the meadow next to the Madonna Inn with an abundance of attractive and tipsy gals wandering about to delight the eye.
- I took a series of training classes in order to serve as a volunteer for Hospice SLO and got an assignment to assist an older gentleman in Morro Bay. While I cannot describe the situation in detail in order to protect the privacy of the client, I can say that the fellow is wonderful to work with and has a fascinating background. Plus, I’m going to Morro Bay, a gorgeous town on the Pacific Ocean where I get to watch the sunset each week when I leave the client.
- Played a 2 hour musical gig at the rider dinner hosted by Wild Horse Winery the evening before the “Wine & Roses” benefit ride for the Templeton Chamber of Commerce.
- Today I helped out at the “Tour of Paso” event to benefit the Cancer Support Community in Paso Robles. I served as a “ride marshal”, going along on the 50 mile ride to help guide folks, assist where needed on the route, and socialize a lot while rolling down the scenic two-lanes. The ride started and ended at Niner Winery who also hosted the post-ride meal and presentations, providing a fine selection of wines to go along with the meal.
So let me summarize my volunteer activities – Designing and leading rides in the central coast wine country of California, meeting actors, attractive ladies strolling through verdant meadows, conversations with fascinating personalities, playing my guitar and singing, and more riding through the viney hills followed by bbq sliders and Niner Vineyard wines.
Did I mention that I’m spoiled? Just how can a volunteer be spoiled? You decide (click on any picture to start a slide show):