Just before the curtain rises, the ushers at the Palladium scan the crowed, satisfied everyone is in their seat and a job well done is complete. The black-panted, white shirt clad expert is a valuable member of the Center For The Performing Arts staff, with one major condition: each one of them is a volunteer.
Currently at 471 members, the Volunteer Usher Corp has toiled some 43,628 hours serving the needs of ticketholders since opening night. Officials figure their work comprises 10,907 trips to the Palladium, Tarkington or Studio Theatre to show up for an average 4 hour shift. At a recent reception to honor the devoted volunteers, Center CEO Tania Castroverde Moskalenko heaped praise and appreciation upon the volunteers. In poetic cadence she said, “It’s not for the fame, it’s not for any personal gain, it’s just for the love of fellow man.”
It is clearly evident when attending any event; the people greeting, seating, directing and straightening enjoy what they do; so much so, in fact, that there were some standouts who were honored for high achievement and over-the-top dedication to their mode of service. Bill and Marge Dorsche rose from their Palladium seats and took a position front and center on the stage they usually only view. Named Volunteers of the Year for the 2011 Inaugural season, Bill and Marge Dorsche are certainly more than deserving. Of note is their incredible commitment to the Center – they have served as ushers for 142 performances. If that were not enough, the Dorsches compiled a three-volume scrapbook about the Center and its programs.
Also taking Volunteer of the Year honors, but for 2012, were Bill and Nancy Heath. Together, the Heaths are the second-most active couple, showing up 124 times ready to serve the people anticipating their favorite artist and a night to remember.
General Manager Doug Tatum also wanted to recognize volunteers who have served more than could be normally expected. Carolyn Brittsan, Harris Jones, Jerry Steinfeld and Betty Swartz achieved Century Milestone status for their 100 or more evenings on duty. Finally, heading to the stage for their moment in the spotlight, Jim Burrell, Rick Horvath, Patricia Horvath, Marcia Jansen, Jeff Lefton, Janice McGill, Peg Prough, Paul Swartz and Joan Walker were honored for their service “Above and Beyond.” A round of applause, please.