Volunteering comes in many different forms. When you get involved in your community, your church, your school, or your work, you are making a difference. You are contributing to the quality of life in that area and working together to make it a better place. Being a volunteer shows that you care.
Each year, West Point, MS hosts the Prairie Arts Festival. After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID, concerns started to grow that the 2021 Festival may also have to be canceled when COVID numbers started to climb again. However, after a lot of discussions, the decision was made to not cancel the festival, but to continue with a few compromises like having shorter hours, limiting activities, and spreading out the vendors. In a world that was already short-handed, this meant a lot of extra hours for some volunteers. Mary Ann Briggs was a volunteer on the Prairie Arts Festival Committee, and she oversaw the 5k Run, as hundreds of runners showed up the day of the race to register. The weather was beautiful, and the day was successful because of the volunteers who didn’t give up because it was hard.
At the 2022 West Point Clay County Community Growth Alliance Annual Banquet, Mary Ann, along with the ten other members of the Prairie Arts Festival Committee were recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Lisa Klutts, Director for the Growth Alliance said that having the commitment to see something through from beginning to end, working the long hours and being dedicated to show up early and to stay late, is more than just volunteering – that is the volunteer of the year.