Celebrating 20+ Years of Volunteers

April 22, 2024

Volunteers play a vital role in helping bring the performing arts to life. As a local nonprofit arts and cultural education organization, the Center is supported by the generosity of community members who contribute financial donations and/or give their time and talents to this premier performing arts venue. During National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), we shine a spotlight and celebrate these dedicated members in our community.

In the past year, 285 volunteers dedicated more than 12,806 hours to the Center’s mission – valued at $383,796 (measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Of those 285 volunteers, 20 of them have been with the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center since its opening in November 2002.

After 20 years, I still have to pinch myself – we are so fortunate to have this facility in Appleton, Wisconsin! I hope the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center continues to thrive for many more years.
David S. - Fox Cities P.A.C. volunteer since 2002

Volunteer impact extends beyond the numbers and into personal, memorable experiences. As a welcoming face of the Center for patrons, volunteers help make it possible for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the magic of live experiences more positively. Even sharing a smile or a laugh creates a shared space of connection within our community and beyond.

“When the Fox Cities P.A.C. opened, I wanted to be a part of sharing this experience with others,” volunteer, Mary Ellen F. shared. A retired school librarian and Appleton resident, Mary Ellen has been volunteering for more than 20 years. Her love of live theater led her to sign up even before the Center opened in 2002. It is her hope that more families can continue enjoying affordable events at your Fox Cities P.A.C.

Art is a treat for all our senses. It makes us aware of different types of music, culture and viewpoints. It encourages diversity and helps us to be more welcoming and accepting of others.
Mary Ellen F. - Fox Cities P.A.C. volunteer since 2002

Lil F. has also been volunteering since the Center’s beginning. Formerly the Director of Family Court Services in Winnebago County, Lil’s been volunteering since the Opening Night Gala featuring legendary singer, Tony Bennett on November 25, 2002. Her main duty as a volunteer is helping direct patrons to and from their seats. She sees first-hand the impact live performing arts experiences have. “People come to the Center to be entertained and relieve the stress of life,” Lil commented. “I often hear our guests comment on what a great show they saw so I know on their way home they are in a positive mood and rejuvenated.” This is also true for students who come to watch classroom lessons come to life through the Amcor Education Series. “Those students are amazed by what they experience and are so engaged in the production,” Lil remarked. “I hope the seed has been planted for a lifelong love of all the arts in those little ones.”

Another volunteer to share more than 20 years with the Center is Jill L. Having the Fox Cities P.A.C. right in her own backyard to experience world-class touring productions was what inspired Jill to become a volunteer. “I believe the Fox Cities P.A.C. has revitalized downtown Appleton and helped the economic development in our community,” she shared. Jill enjoys connecting with others through the arts through her role. This includes greeting and helping guests feel welcome, taking pictures for patrons at the photo booth and assisting wherever she is needed. Adding to how Mary Ellen views the arts, Jill commented, “Art in any shape or form is important for mental health, helping express our feelings and emotions.” For Jill and many others, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is a multicultural gathering place where people can come together and find inspiration in a new way of thinking.

I’d like to thank all who have been a part of the Fox Cites P.A.C.’s team for the past 20+ years. From admin. to backstage staff, floor supervisors to bartenders, security to valet and of course, my fellow volunteers. I’d like to also thank those who shared the vision for and contributed to the Center, and everyone else for making this such a wonderful place.
Christine K. - Fox Cities P.A.C. volunteer since 2002

We are grateful for all that David, Mary Ellen, Lil, Jill, Christine and all volunteers give to the Fox Cities P.A.C. We extend our deepest appreciation and a warm and heartfelt “thank you.”

If you love giving back to your community, are passionate about the arts and enjoy sharing in conversations and performing arts experiences, consider becoming a volunteer for your Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and join the cast today!
Thank you to Thrivent® for proudly supporting the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s volunteers.

Written by Philomena Dorobek, Brand Storyteller
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center