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August 8, 2022

Funny Papers Again Column | Donate Yourself and Be a Volunteer

The definition of the word “volunteer,” according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, is a person who does a job without being paid for it. That’s pretty straightforward, but in my opinion it falls a bit short of the mark; if one takes the definition at face value, it could also be a definition of involuntary servitude, which is the politically correct way to say slavery.

I would define the word thusly: if one is willingly doing something without expectation of remuneration one is a volunteer. The key word there is willingly, one must make a conscious choice to give up one’s personal time to involve oneself in tasks or events, be they simple or complex, short or long, large or small; that is a volunteer.

As one who has been a volunteer for some 54 years now (I was a 15-year-old volunteer for the Head Start Program at Oak Park in Greenfield), I can attest to the fact that volunteering can be a very rewarding experience. I’m not going to bore you all with a catalogue of my volunteer experiences, but I will allow myself to say that in the past eight years here in King City, I have had the pleasure to avail myself of many volunteer opportunities with some wonderful organizations and events.

Of late, I have had to curtail some of those activities while I let the medical folks set a few things straight that are at this time a bit out of whack, but when these little problems are vanquished, I hope to get back to spending more time with some organizations and their outreaches and events. I have been for a while now trying to put together a list of local nonprofit organizations who either need board members or could utilize volunteers for an event, and hope to get that out when time allows.

With fast approaching warmer weather, the town will once again come to life with myriad events, most of which are fundraisers for one cause or another and will require outside assistance, so now is the time to look into donating some time to worthy causes. As a segue to volunteerism, I will start with those organizations and events that are close to my heart and that is the Arts.

Let me start with events furthest down the line and work our way back to the most recent.

With much of the restrictions of the pandemic now eased or eliminated altogether, the venerable Stage Hands theater troupe is back in business with a new slate of board members. The group is presently considering a script and hope to stage a performance on the weekends prior to and after Thanksgiving Day, and while still in the developmental stages, they will be looking for not only volunteers as crew, but also are always on the look-out for new talent.

As of this writing, the show under serious consideration is “The Game’s Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays,” which story comes from Conan Doyle’s storied detective Sherlock Holmes, or at least a play within a play about Holmes. More information about this show will be forthcoming in the next few months.

Two productions are already cast and will hit the Robert Stanton Theater stage a few weeks apart, one will open in nine days and one that will commence April 1 through the 16th. The latter production is the children’s musical “The Little Mermaid,” presented by Sol Treasures.

While I am not versed in the story, I did see a ballet performance of this show and can attest it is popular with the younger set. While all the cast members are in place and rehearsals have been ongoing for weeks, Sol Treasures staff are always open to those who wish to volunteer either their talent or their time. If you feel the urge to lend your talent or a helping hand, then by all means get in touch with Sol Treasures; you can find them on social media.

The first production on the 2022 social calendar is the Monterey County Dance Theatre’s production of “La Sylphide,” which will premiere on Friday the 18th of this month. This production will mark the second time the renowned dance troupe has brought their talents to the Robert Stanton Theater, the first was last December’s “The Nutcracker Ballet” after the stage was finally free of pandemic restrictions, which had shut down all use of the auditorium for two days shy of two years.

In a departure from presenting a known ballet as done in past spring productions, such as”Peter Pan,” “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast,” this year the troupe has taken on the demands of “La Sylphide,” a 190-year-old Russian ballet. All I know of this show is what I read, and what I read leads me to believe this is a very special production for these dancers, a real challenge to tell such a love story with all its joy and heartache.

Tickets are now on sale for both “The Little Mermaid” and “La Sylphide”; all the information is found on social media, just search Monterey County Dance Theatre and Sol Treasures.


“The Yanks are comin’; the Yanks are comin’.” Those are part of the lyrics to George C. Cohan’s “Over There.” Of course, in this context it meant that American soldiers were headed for Europe to fight the enemy, but for Greenfield, the Yanks Air Museum means new business — no matter how long it takes.

And it is taking time, the land was purchased in the late 1980s, and since that time an RV park is the only guest area in operation. A gas station, motel, restaurant and airstrip are planned along with the museum itself, which includes an impressive display of antique aircraft. I can attest to that having made a couple visits to the “Wings of War” display in Chino; the same operators that are developing the Yanks here in the Valley.

Take care. Peace.

Steve Wilson
King City and Greenfield Columnist

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