WCC Medical Assisting Club
Volunteer groups who provide many hours of work to MerleFest receive funds for their efforts that reach far into the community. One of those groups is the Medical Assisting Club of Wilkes Community College. Most of the money they receive is earmarked for scholarships that cover the expense of the Certified Medical Assistant exam application fees for some of the program's graduates. They also use their funds for other worthy endeavors in the community, which are usually associated with some medical necessity or human service need.
The WCC Medical Assisting Club has been volunteering at MerleFest for ten years. They serve snacks and refreshments at Beverage Booth 3, located in the food tent. "One might think that doing the same thing year after year would get boring," says Joyce Minton, the club advisor, "but nothing could be further from the truth. Each year brings some new adventure." She goes on to explain that with interactions between students, visitors, and sometimes even performers, there is always a "new tale" to tell.
Ms. Minton believes that her students benefit in many ways from their volunteer experience. "Specifically, we find that they build an amazing level of camaraderie between each other and demonstrate great team spirit." Other skills they develop include marketing of the items they sell and interacting positively with customers. She continues, "They get to see musical performances they may never have had exposure to before, and they have lots of fun in the bargain."
Other areas to which the club contributes some of their MerleFest funds include Relay for Life, Our House, The Rainbow Center, SAFE, Wilkes Developmental Day School, and the Christmas in Wilkes Angel Tree program. They contribute to campus activities including scholarships, need-based donations, the Cultural Celebration, Wellness Fair, and the Next-Step Building Campaign, and they host a blood drive each December. The club was proud to subsidize an educational trip to Chicago, Illinois in 2008 for two worthy students.
So, festival goers, when you buy a snack or a bottle of water from our future doctors, nurses, and certified medical assistants at Beverage Booth 3, remember how far into the community the funds they earn go. MerleFest thanks the WCC Medical Assisting Club for their work at MerleFest and for their many contributions to the community and to Wilkes Community College.