Pay It Forward: Volunteering for Festival of Trees

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Over one 100,000 people visit the Festival of Trees each year.
The decorations and designs get all of the attention, but hundreds of volunteers make it all possible.
Days before the doors open to the public local designers add the final touches to their works of art.
One of those designers, Don Sands, says one special volunteer deserves a lot of the credit.
"Pat Wohlford is one of the key members and volunteers for Festival.  All the things that go into Festival, she's the first person you go to," Sands said.
This year is Pat's 26th year volunteering at Festival of Trees.
She is in charge of the holiday display area; basically what you see on the floor in the River Center.
"It's pretty close to the equivalent of a full-time job. I have a fax machine and copy machine at home, and I travel with an iPad so I can be in communication with designers even when I'm on vacations," Wohlford said.
But you love it right?
"I do, or I wouldn't keep coming back.  It's a passion," she said.  "This designer set up time is always my most favorite. I've been dealing with the titles that designers give their creations all year, but I don't see the finished product until now.  Then the title comes to life and has meaning."
Don Sands nominated Pat Wohlford for the News 8/Ascentra Credit Union "Pay It Forward" award.
"This isn't something that happens all of a sudden in November or October.  The events have already started for the 30th (annual festival).  She is the go-to person, and I do not know how you manage to have the time to deal with all the things that are on her plate," Sands said.
Wohlford is up for the challenge, and raising money for Quad City Arts to provide art programing for students in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.
That makes all of her hours of work worthwhile.
"I've never been paid to do a job as rewarding as this one," Wohlford said.
She is already looking forward to next year.
If you know someone doing great things let us know about it.Nominate them for the News 8/Ascentra Credit Union "Pay It Forward"  award by clicking here.
For more on what to expect at this years Festival of Trees click here.
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