MerleFest volunteer Tonya Lambert has festival memories going all the way back to middle school. As a Wilkes County resident, she attended the festival and volunteered through local organizations throughout middle school and high school. Now Tonya, a graduate student in psychological sciences at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, returns to her hometown to help her community with the festival that impacts the area in so many positive ways. "As someone who grew up in Wilkes and attended Wilkes Community College for some classes during high school, I'm glad that I am able to give back. And what better way is there to give back to your community than having fun and listening to great music?"
The upcoming MerleFest will mark her second year as a volunteer at the Little Pickers area. When not helping children with crafts, face painting, rock climbing, etc., she will be concentrating on the music. The entertainers she will search for first on her schedule are Donna the Buffalo and Sam Bush. Like many returning volunteers, Tonya is very excited that The Avett Brothers will be back for MerleFest 2010.
A special MerleFest memory for Tonya is from the year that Nickel Creek performed. "My friends and I all love them and danced and sang the entire time they were performing." She also fondly remembers a reward trip to MerleFest in middle school for students with good grades. "It was pouring rain the day that they took us, and we were all given XL white t-shirts that said, 'Ask me why I'm here.' We were all soaked and miserable and nothing was really going on because of all of the rain but it makes for some good laughs now." Rain at MerleFest? We look forward to seeing Tonya and all the other volunteers at a sun-drenched, warm MerleFest 2010.