051319 Solvang Theaterfest

Donna and Jack Croom were named 2019 Red Coat Volunteers of the Year during the annual Solvang Theaterfest volunteers picnic.

Donna and Jack Croom were named 2019 Red Coat Volunteers of the Year during the annual Solvang Theaterfest picnic honoring the volunteer corps on May 9.

More than 100 Red Coats who volunteer their time taking tickets, handing out programs, and ushering at every public performance staged at Solvang Festival Theater from April until December each year, gathered for an afternoon of nosh and camaraderie.

The Crooms have been volunteers for more than a decade, with Jack often working the front gate along with 2018 Red Coat Volunteer of the Year, Jim Patin. Last month the couple also donated a dozen new blankets to the theater’s inventory of rental blankets. Donna even sewed a distinctive border on each blanket to help distinguish them from blankets brought in by patrons and the new blankets sold at the theater’s Company Store.

Solvang Festival Theater House Manager Brittany Mullenary nominated the Crooms for the award. “They volunteer multiple times per week every week,” she said.

In addition to the blankets, the couple previously donated a step ladder, and they take home and clean rental seat cushions marred by spills.

The crystal trophy thanking the Crooms for their “dedication to Solvang Festival Theater” was presented by Solvang Theaterfest Board Chair Chris Nielsen. The award was applauded by the more than 50 Red Coats who attended the barbecue in the theater’s Patron Garden. The festive meal was prepared and served by members of the nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors.

Said a smiling Donna Croom as she received the trophy, “this was totally unexpected. We volunteer here because we love doing it.”

Solvang Theaterfest is the 501 (C ) (3) nonprofit corporation that owns, maintains, and operates Solvang Festival Theater. For more information, visit www.solvangfestivaltheater.org or call 805-686-1789.

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