Stories of Gumption is a regular column that profiles individuals who admirably demonstrate Gumption as we define it. These are the stories of real people who exhibit gumption in overcoming personal challenges, and validate the spirit of Gumption during their journey. Let’s take inspiration from those who seize 100% personal responsibility and show us how to live a life that exhibits Gump-like character traits worthy of applause!
Last Saturday was the 18th Annual Bitterroot BrewFest. It is the largest fundraiser of the year, benefitting the Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce. It is also the biggest outdoor summer party in Hamilton, Montana.
Proudly, this is the third year I’ve participated on the Brewfest Committee. It’s also the fifth year that I’ve attended. It keeps getting better and better.
Would it be OK if I brag a little bit about the event, the committee, and the dozens of volunteers who make the event possible?
The Bitterroot Brewfest would not be possible without the hard work of nearly 100 people donating their time and effort. It’s truly a community event.
During the past eighteen years, the BrewFest has evolved, grown, and changed locations several times. I know it only in its current location. The tree-lined Bedford Street between 2nd and 3rd is a great location. The attendees cross the spectrum from beer connoisseur to social animal to families with children. Most just enjoy the summer day to have an outdoor party with fellow members of the community.
I became directly involved three years ago. Tim recruited me to join the committee. Having attended the previous two years, I decided assisting with the food was an area where I could help. The number of food vendors increased from two to four that first year. This year, there were eight food vendors. I believe the attendees appreciate the extra food choices and yummy eats.
With the cuisine satisfied, I shifted my focus toward the setup. We have only 1½ hours to transform an empty street into a venue that will host 1,500-plus people for the next seven hours. To get this done smoothly … a little prior planning was necessary. Getting the many willing volunteers educated beforehand on how they could help and instructing them with the specific tasks that needed doing was the key.
Now let’s get down to the profile of the committee and the volunteers who make the event happen.
Without trying to name everyone individually, I’ll simply say that our teams of volunteers worked valiantly. The set-up teams included:
- Beer tent, taps, kegs, and ice
- Volunteer coordination and orientation
- Lights and electrical
- Food vendor coordination/setup
- PortaPotties and other miscellaneous necessities
I haven’t mentioned the star of the day … the beer. Fifty-four different flavors from about twenty-three different regional breweries – thank you!
A good time seemed to be had by all. The weather was perfect. The day was a success.
Finally, I want to thank my fellow committee members. Justine, Cassie, Amy, Troy, Jean, Cindy, Deborah, and Pat. I’ve really enjoyed working together with all of you. This core group was responsible for making the event happen.
There is another group of individuals who participate both on the committee level and with essential day-of duties. Their years of consistent volunteerism and participation is much appreciated. Thank you, Tom S., Tom P., Jim, Tim, KJ, Jason, Bobbie, Greg, and Rob. And thanks to newcomers Marty, Matt, Steve F., and Brian. Adhering to the one-and-a-half hour setup time was only possible because of your work.
I’ve failed to mention by name all the other beer pit bosses and pourers. The total number of ‘beer’ people is well over fifty. Good pouring!
And I’ve not mentioned by name any of the twenty-five-plus volunteers who handle registration, ticket sales, volunteer coordination, and pizza sales. Thank you for your service.
Finally, the Brewfest is only possible because of the special services provided by several vendors who offer their products and services at a discount. Thank you, Rob M., Eric, Mike, and Mike. And a special thank you to Laura from the Farmers Market for graciously sharing Bedford Street.
The Bitterroot Brewfest only happens because of many individuals who have Gumption.
The volunteers of Hamilton, Montana, and Ravalli County are people who Function with Gumption.
The Bitterroot Chamber is the beneficiary of all this beer, food, and Gumption.
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Next Blog Date: August 2, 2012