Doors Open is quickly approaching, and we need hundreds of volunteers for this year's event. Volunteers play an incredible role in the event. I could go on an on telling you how fun it is, how much you are needed, what an important role every volunteer has in the event and how I bet you’ll be back next year if you give volunteering for Doors Open a try this September. It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s rewarding in so many ways. But don’t just take it from me.
Cathy Burgoyne has been a captain for Doors Open Milwaukee since 2012. Captain volunteers are in charge of a group of participating sites in close proximity and make sure that volunteers show up, event material is stacked and everything is running smoothly at their assigned locations during the event. Cathy is in charge of the busiest area of Doors Open, which includes the 8,000-plus who visit the US Bank Building during the event. Here's what she has to say:
One of the winning photos in the 2014 Doors Open Milwaukee Photo Challenge. Be sure to participate in the Photo Challenge during the event this year, and win some great prizes! (PHOTO: "Artistic ceiling view of the Milwaukee Grain Exchange" by Kent Bieganski)
"I initially stumbled upon Doors Open the first year it started. The following year I decided to volunteer. I have volunteered since, doing both Saturday and Sunday. It is such a fun event. You get to roam around the city, touring buildings and companies, some of which you never knew existed.
"The volunteers are committed and helpful. They generally know more about the buildings than I do! The volunteers in the buildings are genuinely interested in relating historical and architectural facts about the buildings and the city. It is like being at a festival that is city-wide.
"I also enjoy the logistics of keeping buildings staffed and stocked with programs and souvenirs for the event. It is similar to charting a course on a map – finding a parking space to run into a building to drop off materials, dodging the runners in the Susan G. Komen race to get from the US Bank building to the NML building or the Gas Light building. It is fun to make sure the events run smoothly, and volunteers and visitors enjoy their time exploring the city.
"I like being part of an event that is a festival of our city. For two days, the streets are full of people exploring what is going on in Milwaukee. It makes me feel proud and happy to see so many people enjoying what Milwaukee has to offer."
One of the winning photos in the 2014 Doors Open Milwaukee Photo Challenge. Be sure to participate in the Photo Challenge during the event this year, and win some great prizes! (PHOTO: "Mid-century Museum" by Katrice Brooks)
Joe and Melinda Kallenberger organize close to (and ideally over, hint hint) a thousand volunteers for Doors Open Milwaukee every year. From organizing shifts to contacting each and every volunteer and captain involved, from conducting volunteer orientations to creating databases and volunteer organizational materials for the event, Melinda and Joe are volunteer Volunteer Coordinators (that is not a typo). We are extremely thankful for their level of volunteering and commitment to the event each year to take on this huge task. Here's what Joe had to say about his experience with Doors Open:
One of the winning photos in the 2014 Doors Open Milwaukee Photo Challenge. Be sure to participate in the Photo Challenge during the event this year, and win some great prizes! (PHOTO: "Milwaukee River and Street Lights" by Suvi Tory)
"Much of life is about perspective. Each of us often sees the world differently than those around us. We are uniquely shaped by many factors in our development. This may include our upbringing, family values, cultural norms, experiences and our environment. However, there can often be one simple thing that binds people together, regardless of one's perspective.
"As Historic Milwaukee’s most ambitious project, Doors Open Milwaukee is an open house of 150-plus buildings supporting the organization's mission of increasing awareness of and commitment to Milwaukee’s history, architecture and the preservation of our built environment.
"As I gather with the planning team for Doors Open Milwaukee each month, I gain the sense from each of the individuals gathered that the reason for their dedication to the event, while married to this mission, also is something more – namely a love of Milwaukee. The event is more than an event about buildings. Rather, it is a celebration of Milwaukee. Each and every perspective that has shaped this metropolis over time, influencing the development of the city, its buildings, its people and relevance to the world, is on display and cause for celebration during Doors Open Milwaukee.
"Doors Open Milwaukee 2015 will include sites of significant architecture, while other sites will be reflective of the history of our city. Others will be offering an inside look at organizations and/or people which make Milwaukee unique or important to its surroundings. While you are busy exploring these sites during the event, alter your perspective from simply taking in various vantage points to seeing the city from new angles or looking at architectural details from all sides – and consider just how the site has shaped Milwaukee and the people in it.
"Doors Open Milwaukee is more than an open house of 175 buildings. It is a celebration of Milwaukee and the many sites which have shaped it. Join the celebration on Sept. 19 and 20, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., to experience the joy of seeing the many churches, office buildings, theaters, work sites, museums, hotels, clubs and universities as the more than 20,000-plus individuals did in past years.
"In addition to joining it, I encourage you to help host it as one of the 1,200 persons who will make the event run smoothly, providing essential support during the event by ensuring that visitors are properly greeted and informed.
"Please join me, and the others on the planning team, in celebrating Milwaukee by volunteering during Doors Open Milwaukee. Volunteering for the event involves spending four hours on either of the event days in the role of greeter. Greeters can be found stationed at the entrance to all sites directing admission, answering questions and tracking visitor attendance. Greeters typically work one four-hour shift, which leaves plenty of time to explore the city for the remainder of the weekend.
"Of course, volunteering comes a few perks!
- You get to skip to the front of the line to visit any participating site during Doors Open (yes, it’s ok to budge if you volunteer)
- Access to a wrap-up party and free reception after Doors Open at City Hall.
- The opportunity to meet others who share your interest in architecture, design, history and Milwaukee’s built environment?
"And volunteering is simple! All you have to do is:
- Greet attendees while stationed at the entrance to Doors Open sites directing admission, answering questions and tracking visitor attendance.
- Commit to one four-hour shift, leaving plenty of time to explore the city for the remainder of the weekend.
- Help to throw the largest celebration in the city!
"And all you have to do to sign-up to volunteer is visit the volunteer page at Doors Open Milwaukee's website.
"Show your love. Share your love! Alter your perspective, and help to host Milwaukee’s biggest open house of the year. Celebrate Milwaukee with us."
One of the winning photos in the 2014 Doors Open Milwaukee Photo Challenge. Be sure to participate in the Photo Challenge during the event this year, and win some great prizes! (PHOTO: Jason Scooter-Cichacki works the weld down at Milwaukee blacksmith by Bonnie Delap)
And just to think, they started out as volunteers for one shift during Doors Open Milwaukee the first year. Just like you will this year …