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For Anne Clark, Volunteering at the Signature Event is a ‘Family Affair’

Anne and Bert Clark singing “Home on the Range”

If you’ve volunteered at the Signature Event you most likely know Anne Clark. She’s been volunteering since the third year and has recruited her husband, Bert, and their parents.

Read more about her involvement at the event and why her favorite part is when everyone’s singing Home on the Range.

Q: How did you first get involved with Symphony in the Flint Hills?

A: I used to be the program director at Camp Wood YMCA and they were trying to find someone organized to work at the ticket gate. Ken Wold (former executive director at Camp Wood) “voluntold” me I’d be ticket gate lead at the event, so I said, “OK,” and I did it from my desk at Camp Wood. I organized all the volunteers and they continued to ask me to come back.

Q: How long have you been volunteering and in what capacity?

A: I have been in charge of the ticket gate since that third event. I heard about the first event because Ken was on the board. The second year I attended as a participant and the third year I started volunteering. Over the years, my husband Bert was on the transportation team and I recruited my parents and Bert’s mom to get on my team and eventually got everyone over to work on my team. It was a family affair. I wasn’t at the 2021 event because I just had my son.

Q: Why do you continue to volunteer for the organization?

A: I think it’s a lot of fun. It’s cool to get people out in the Flint Hills who would never come to the area and experience it in a way no one would think of. It’s phenomenal how much time and effort is put into one event you’ll never see again. I’m not a symphony music person and I think a lot of people are in that same boat. But the combination of the day, being in the Flint Hills and watching a sunset in the Flint Hills – you can’t beat a Kansas sunset. The volunteers that come back every year – some of have been coming since I started and even before me. Just knowing there’s people I’ve been working with who will be there in 2022.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the Signature Event?

A: At the end of the concert when everyone’s singing Home on the Range – everybody knows that song but it comes true to life after seeing the cattle drive. Singing that song takes me back in time to when that song would’ve been written and how they were going across the prairie and moving to wherever home would’ve been. The vast amount of space the prairie lands were like, what life was like back in the day. Knowing wherever we were at before we went to the event – it all connects us to that same spot in that same moment.

Q: What are you looking forward to about this year’s event?

A: Getting back and seeing the volunteers, especially since I was gone last year. They were so sweet and took a photo last year and sent it to me.

Thanks to all of those that put every ounce of energy in the event – volunteers and staff. I know there’s tons of work that goes into this that so many don’t know what happens. It’ll be fun to actually see this year’s site since it was cancelled in 2019.