By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(Oct. 11, 2018) The Town of Berlin last Thursday honored its volunteer ambassadors during a celebration at Fins Alehouse and Raw Bar.
The annual program has been recognized by the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism.
Sharon Timmons, who helps organize the volunteers, said the ambassadors are an essential part of the town’s success, as they set up a stand on Main Street each year to help Berlin visitors find their way around.
“They promote the town in a way that [is unique]. They know the businesses and they know what the businesses sell. They also help guide people to restaurants, and we have a restaurant book that you can look at,” she said. “So many people go to them for help. Rather than going into businesses and asking, you’ve got your ambassadors right there.”
Timmons said 44 volunteer ambassadors, including seven new ones, participated this year.
“Today, we’re having a reception to thank the volunteers for all the hard work that they’ve done,” she said. “They stood out there in rain and heat and windy conditions, and they promoted the town and have just been wonderful about it.”
The event, along with featuring a large buffet spread provided by Fins, included several drawings for prizes provided by Berlin merchants.
“Every time that a volunteer volunteers, they get their name written down and it’s put in a basket, and they get a prize at the end of the year if their name gets drawn,” Timmons said. “So, if you worked one time every week, you’ll probably get your name in there 16 or 20 times.
“Town merchants are very generous in giving out gift cards of at least $10 – and we have some very expensive ones this year. It’s all to say thank you to the ambassadors for helping to support the town,” she added.
Timmons, who retires this month as the economic and community development administrative assistant, was also honored during the event. Economic Director Ivy Wells ordered a special treat from Baked Dessert Café, and she and the volunteers presented Timmons with several memorable gifts purchased from Berlin merchants.
“They got one over on me,” a tearful Timmons said. “It doesn’t happen often, but they got one over on me.
“I’m going to miss this,” she continued “I’ve loved working with all the ambassadors and I’m really going to miss them.”
Signup for the Berlin Volunteer Ambassador Program will begin next May. The program runs from Labor Day until the weekend of the Fiddler’s Convention.
Volunteer shifts are two hours, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1-3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
“They get a T-shirt, they get a welcome reception and they just have a great time,” Timmons said.
Replacing Timmons in the economic development office and as coordinator of the program will be Berlin native Allison Early.
“Tonight is a really good opportunity for me to meet everybody and put faces to names,” Early said. “Sharon’s been teaching me a lot, and I have a schedule and a contact list. I’m just excited to be a part of it and to work with the volunteers.”
For more information, call 410-629-1716.