I feel proud to have had the great opportunity to volunteer at the Hopfest in both my freshman and sophomore years. When I first joined Interact as a freshman, I did not know much about Interact. The first Interact event I was involved in was the Hopfest (it may be the first event for you, too!). It was an eye-opener for me because I was able to help and talk to great Veterans after their long bike rides and interact with my fellow volunteers. By getting involved in amazing events such as the V3 Hopfest, I have become a more outgoing person and more open to others' perspectives in general. Staying active in Interact has been a valuable experience for me because of the long-lasting friendships I have made and the gratifying feeling after helping our community.
The Hopfest is a Veteran's bike race organized by the Dougherty Valley/San
Ramon Rotary Club to primarily benefit the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation. The Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation assists severely wounded, post-9/11 Veterans to help them transition back into civilian life.
Possible Volunteer Shifts
You can choose from many volunteer shifts for the event. On Friday, September 14th after school, you can set up booths at 2600 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, which is the address of the main site. On the main day of the event, the registration/check-in booth and parking starts early in the morning. At the registration booth, you can help Veterans sign up and get started with the race. Around lunch, you can help out either at the Meal Area, where you can serve food to Veterans after they finish the race, or volunteer at the Entrance Booth, greeting the Veterans as they come to the main site.
My favorite parts of the event were serving lunch to Veterans at the Rider Meal Area and working at the Entrance Booth. I especially loved these two experiences because I could serve meals to the tired Veterans after a long bike race and also directly talk to the Veterans at the Entrance Booth. Other volunteers also enjoyed setting up this big event and helping at the Registration booth.
Tips for the Event
· Wear light clothing, because it will be sunny
· Exact location of the main site can be difficult to find, so watch for signs guiding you in the right direction
· Stay open to having conversations with the Veterans and other volunteers, even if you haven't met them before!
· Be friendly and treat people with respect
· Be positive throughout the event. Everyone loves a smile and a nice greeting :)
· Try to make sure you and the people around you are actively involved
· There will be soda and water available