Taking a Shakespearean Look at Honoring Volunteers

Publisher’s Note: Volunteer Missoula is partnering with Make It Missoula to help the community learn more about the great work of local nonprofits as well as spread the word about exciting volunteer opportunities available to Missoulians. Every month we will feature a blog about an “Organization of the Month” chosen from our list of website users.

Our Mission

Missoula Aging Services promotes the independence, dignity and health of older adults and those who care for them.

 To Support Our Mission:

  • We promote building a community that values and supports people of all ages and abilities.
  • We engage the wisdom and talents of people of all ages and abilities in the enrichment of the community we share, providing volunteer opportunities to remain healthy and active.
  • We make complex services more easily accessible through information, education, referrals and personalized services for people of all incomes with emphasis on those most in need.
  • We educate and engage those who are preparing to retire.
  • We support those who care for family members and loved ones.
  • We honor the dignity of all individuals to make choices that meet their specific needs, including the option to remain in their homes with the necessary supportive services.


Above is the Mission Statement for Missoula Aging Services, a mission they strive to accomplish every day.  MAS has been working for older adults since it was established in 1982.  The organization started out as all non-profits do, small.  With a staff of only five people, MAS had to work hard to get to where they are today.  Now, with a staff of 48 and a budget of $3.3 million, MAS stands as a pillar in the community of Missoula.

This last month I got to see a different side of the non-profit world as I attended the MAS’ “Celebration of National Volunteer Week!” event.  This event has been held by Missoula Aging Service for as long as anyone can remember, and it is a great way for MAS to say thank you to all of the wonderful people who have helped them accomplish their mission.  They were able to reserve the ballroom at the DoubleTree and to provide dessert and prizes for all of those who attended.  However, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

I arrived at the DoubleTree around 5 P.M. and was blown away by how nice the ballroom looked. First of all, the room has beautiful chandeliers, and Double Tree was able to fill the room with tables that had wonderful centerpieces.


I love the design!

The theme of the event was Shakespeare with the tagline “All the World’s a Stage,” and so many of the guests and staff were dressed up in the finest Shakespearean style.  There was music for ambiance as guests checked in and found their seats.  A great piano player, A.J. Pocan, was serenading the audience with his mix of pop music along with a few classical pieces.  Performing with him were the jugglers, Alex and Yonah, who provided excellent entertainment with their superb performance and mastery over anything that can be juggled.


Here are Alex and Yonah killing it!

Soon it was time for the event to start.  Guests were treated to a sneak peak of the University of Montana’s upcoming play of “Romeo and Juliet.”  As the two actors took the stage, it was immediately apparent that these two were going to put on quite the show.  They were able to captivate the audience with the famous balcony scene, and by the first line everyone was hooked.

After the performance, attendees were able to walk around and talk with the other guests.  I found my way to a table that was covered with jewelry.


Here are a few of the pieces that were for sale.

This was one of the centerpieces of the event, a jewelry sale held on June 11 which helps raise thousands of dollars for MAS!  These pieces ranged from large and a little overwhelming to unique and elegant.  All of the pieces were being sold by some of the most charismatic women you will ever meet.  The price range was fair, and you could see how much joy everyone got from donating and buying jewelry.

Also at the event was Alesia, a professor at the University of Montana, Alessia Carpoca in the Dance and Theater department, who had helped design a wonderful dress for the event.  In fact, she had all of her class help. The dress was a wonderful shade of red and gold.  You could see the high quality of work that was put into the dress, and it was created in only a few months! Alesia herself was interesting to talk to.  She explained to me the high standards that are expected of the University’s students and many of the wonderful opportunities that await them after college.   Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to talk long as she had many people waiting to compliment her, and her class, on their fine work.

Next up, it was time for the complementary dessert, pie and ice cream!  The great servers of the DoubleTree began going from table to table handing out the goodies to everyone.  I did not partake in the pie, but the ice cream was delicious.  You could see everyone smile as they enjoyed their own little slices of heaven.

Soon it was time for the main event as Mayor John Engen took the stage with KECI news anchor Heidi Meil.  Since it was National Volunteer Recognition Week, I should not have been surprised that the mayor was going to be there, however, I was still shocked.  The Mayor had the honor of thanking everyone who volunteers in the city of Missoula and announced some prizes for the guests.


Here are a few of the high quality objects up for grabs!

People waited in anticipation as Mayor Engen read off the winning raffle numbers for various flower arrangements, sweets, and a poster from “Gone with the Wind.”  While reading off the winning numbers, the Mayor kept everyone laughing the whole time.

After the raffle, there was one more surprise that MAS had in store.  They had the mayor read off a series of riddles to see who at each table got to take home the centerpieces! They had the pieces going from one side of the table to the next. First, whoever had a green shirt got it, then blue, then you passed off to the other side.  Soon it was so that everyone at the table had it at least once.  Finally, it was passed off to one with a striped shirt, and the riddles were done.  It was a clever and fun way to end the night.  Soon I will be interviewing to become a volunteer at MAS, and based on how they treat their volunteers, I can’t wait!


From left to right: Colleen Kernan, Cyathia Wod, Renee Labrie-Shanks, Kim Hutchinson, Laura Degele, Alicia Crandall, and Rob Edwards.

I would like to thank Alicia Crandall for the invitation to this event!


About the Writer: My name is Will Schultz, and I am attending my last semester at the University of Montana!  My degree will be the Management of information Systems, and I am working for Volunteer Missoula to help promote non-profits in Missoula!  If you have a great idea for a blog post then please let us know on our face book page! Have a great day Volunteers!



Volunteer Missoula is a complete, streamlined volunteer management service for volunteers, nonprofits and businesses in Missoula County. We are web-based nonprofit organization operating under the fiscal sponsorship of United Way of Missoula County. Volunteer Missoula was created and is currently operated by Missoula community members dedicated to promoting volunteerism as a solution to meeting community needs. Volunteer Missoula is partnering with Make It Missoula to help 2015-02-17_1240the community learn more about the great work of local nonprofits as well as spread the word about exciting volunteer opportunities available to Missoulians.

Every month we will feature a blog about an “Organization of the Month” chosen from our list of website users. Our mission is to promote and expand volunteerism as a viable means to fill service gaps in Missoula by connecting volunteers, nonprofits, businesses and individuals in need of service through an interactive and comprehensive website. Volunteer Missoula’s website connects volunteers with Missoula-based nonprofit organizations. We make volunteering easy. For more information about our program or how to become an Organization of the Month, please visit VolunteerMissoula.org or email us at volunteermissoula@gmail.com. Step Up. Help Out.