There are some days, in the world of a non-profit organization, that just wouldn't happen if it weren't for its volunteers. Thankfully, we've never known such a day. The Carlsbad Village Association has been so fortunate throughout the years to have dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. Its Volunteer Ambassador program calls on them for everything from canvassing the downtown businesses with informational flyers (they definitely get in their steps!) to running raffle tables to helping load in vendors for an outdoor event and more!
It is long overdue to recognize Colleen Margis as the Carlsbad Village Association Volunteer of the Year, but with CVA's Open House right around the corner on March 10th (Open House information here) and the introduction of a brand new Volunteer Ambassador program, we didn't want another day to go by without singing Colleen's praises.
To say that Colleen has been instrumental in CVA's resiliency would not be an understatement. When the pandemic hit and closed down CVA's State Street Farmers' Market, the only way to eventually reopen was with a safe reopening plan and strict safety protocols in place. That meant blocking our entrances and initially only letting 75 people in at a time for socially distanced shopping that had to be manned by volunteers. It meant using caution tape to encase the entire market which took quite a bit of time. It meant manning specific exits to control the flow of traffic in and out throughout the four hour shopping window. It meant posting safety protocol signs to all 50 booth canopies. It was an arduous set of tasks every week, but thanks to staff, CVA's Board of Directors, and CVA's volunteers, the market reopened seven weeks after the pandemic hit and remained open throughout with a flawless health record. Colleen was there every single week, month after month, without fail, to help us keep the market open.
Colleen also helped us reopen our Makers Market in December of 2020 by using the same skills keeping people safe, masked, and socially distanced at the event.
During this past holiday season, Colleen created locally-curated gift baskets beautifully showcasing products from the Farmers' Market for people who wanted to share the gift of good food and Carlsbad with others. She took the idea and ran with it and spread a lot of local joy to people. We have had multiple requests to bring it back next year!
Her smile is infectious. Her cheerful nature always makes a difference. Colleen, we don't know what we would do without you. Thank you from all of us at CVA for all you do!