If you’ve lived in Seaside for more than a year, or have spent any amount of regular time in the area, chances are good that you know volunteers are lifeblood to our myriad events, activities, rallies, fundraisers, etc.

That statement probably rings true for many communities, but there’s definitely something special about the way folks rally around volunteer efforts in Seaside.

What makes volunteers so special is that they often donate their time in a multitude of capacities. The Hood to Coast and Portland to Coast relays, which celebrated 32 years the weekend of Aug. 23 to 25, are two of the many opportunities that come up every year where assistance is needed in Seaside.

Close to 100 volunteers donated around 400 hours of their time for the right to serve drinks at the finish line beer garden operated by the Seaside Chamber of Commerce. This is the chamber’s biggest fundraiser of the year, with net proceeds contributing to the chamber’s annual budget and the Chamber Community Foundation.

A handful of those volunteers also give their time to the city of Seaside Visitors Bureau and Information Center. Jack Anderson, Gini Dideum, Grace Bruseth, John Spear, Kristi Wallace and Cheryle Barker have all graciously donated their time to assist visitors who made the trek to our coastal town this summer. All of their shifts last about four hours, and we truly could not accomplish our normal day-to-day activities without their assistance.

Our volunteers work the front line and are often the first ones to greet the more than 20,000 visitors that walk through our center doors every year. A friendly “hello,” with a bright smile, is a simple, but amazing form of communication. It breaks the ice, generally elicits a response and sets the stage for the reason the visitor entered the center in the first place. They have a question, and our volunteers are almost always armed with a response. Visitor center volunteers also help us prepare information packets, occasionally answer phone calls and contribute ideas and opinions when we are working on a collaborative project.

Anderson – a 10-year volunteer veteran – “retired” from his regular Monday shift this past month, and while we have already been lucky enough to fill that void with another cheerful smile, we are always looking for kind and people-focused assistance from folks that love to tell the Seaside story.

If that’s you and you have an interest in volunteering for one day, three to four hours per week, send us a note (info@seasideor.com) or give us a call (503-738-3097). We’d love to talk more about our efforts and how you could possibly join the tourism team.

If you are one of the many Seaside or Clatsop County volunteers, thank you for donating your time and talents. If you know a volunteer, please thank them personally. They will undoubtedly appreciate the kind words.

Jon Rahl is director of tourism marketing for the city of Seaside. Have a question or comment about tourism? Send him an email at jon@seasideor.com. Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitSeasideOR.

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