LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The fourth annual Lewisboro Volunteer Fair was held Saturday afternoon at the Lewisboro Library as local civic and charitable organizations reached out in hopes of convincing community service-minded residents to chip in.
Ten groups set up tables in the library’s main room, handing out brochures and taking down names of those who wished to help. The groups on hand were an eclectic lot, ranging from Meals on Wheels and the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps to the Wolf Conservation Center and the Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s guide dog program.
Alayne Vlachos from the Meals on Wheels program already had signed up two volunteers just 30 minutes into the fair.
“We need drivers to pick up meals and bring them to shut-ins,” Vlachos said. “Sometimes we are the only ones they see. In the end, we feel like they’re a part of our family. You get a lot more out of it (as a volunteer) than you put in.”
Vlachos said volunteers are required to put in one and a half hours every three weeks.
The Lewisboro Garden Club, which has been a part of the fair since it started four years ago, was on hand to recruit volunteers for its annual daffodil planting program.
“We are looking for 50 volunteers to help with planting (daffodil) bulbs in the fall,” said George Scott, who oversees the Garden Club’s Golden Roads daffodil program. “We plant 4,000 bulbs each fall. So far, we’ve planted 18,000.”
One of the biggest draws at the fair was the Guiding Eyes for the Blind table, thanks to the cuddly Sable and Kaley, two of the program’s guide dogs who were on hand to entice potential volunteers.
“We are always looking for good volunteers,” said Guiding Eyes’ Nina Kellogg, who along with her husband Jeff has been involved with the group for 17 years. “We need everything from puppy raisers to socializers who work with the puppies and can give them a good home and walk them three hours a day.
Liz Gabriele, Lewisboro Library program director, was the one who came up with the idea of the volunteer fair. She said she was particularly pleased to see a large teen presence at this year’s event
“It’s good to see the teens coming in,” Gabriele said. “We have several groups that use teen volunteers such as the Wolf Conservation Center and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. There’s something here for everybody.”
Gabriele said the groups have attracted volunteers from library patrons who didn’t even know the fair was taking place.