Volunteers keep SunFest going strong

The festival counts with about 2,800 volunteers
SunFest 2022 volunteers.PNG
Posted at 11:20 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 23:48:06-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Day two of SunFest brought out the crowds, art and music acts.

Thousands filled downtown West Palm Beach as the 4-day festival has reached its midway point.

But organizing SunFest, Florida's largest waterfront music and arts festival, is no easy feat.

"It's work but it's fun and if you're willing to do the work you'll get so much enjoyment out of it," said jennifer Herrington, vice-chair for SunFest's guest services committee.

Herrington and the other vice-chair, Michael Woods have both been volunteering at SunFest for more than 30 years.

"I feel like we're a volunteer machine sometimes. Yeah, I call him my philanthropy spouse. Other people have work spouses. He's my philanthropy spouse with all the work we do together," said Woods and Herrington.

Together they help people with handicapped access and lost and found while continuing to welcome additions to join their volunteer family.

"We just had a volunteer got married a couple of years ago and just had a baby, have a baby girl, so we have a SunFest baby. So maybe 20 years from now she'll be a volunteer too. We have the next generation already," said Woods and Herrington.

RELATED: How to SunFest like a pro

The nonprofit only has 4 people on staff, the rest are some 2,800 volunteers, some of which are high school students fundraising money, or earning community service hours.

"I thought it would just be a fun experience cause I've never been to SunFest personally, so I thought okay cool, I get to enjoy SunFest and I get to get my community service hours done. So two birds one stone," said Palm Beach Gardens High School freshman Joel Roldan.

He, along with classmates from the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, are also learning valuable lessons needed for a future in the service.

"A large portion of it is working together in collaboration so it's more like you're building a family," said Roldan.

SunFest is a nonprofit with money going back to the community through events, scholarships and helping organizations raise $100,000 annually.

We're told volunteer slots are filled for this season, but if you're interested make sure to check out SunFest 2023.