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Volunteers Make All the Difference at the Farmers & Artisans Market!

We all have memories of spring 2020. As the pandemic lockdown forced the closure of restaurants, movie theaters, and seemingly everything else, the Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market was closed indefinitely. I remember one day in April when the reality of the lockdown really hit home. It was a perfect Sunday morning, the sky was blue, the weather was mild and I knew that the the trees along Harvard Avenue would create a canopy of blossoms celebrating springtime. It would be a perfect morning to browse at the market and take home some of the bounty that the farmers have to offer. But this was 2020, so of course things didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to.

As the months dragged on, I continued to think of the market and eagerly looked forward to the reopening. We had all given up so much during the year, and the market felt like something that we could return to safely. When the state gave the green light to reopen there were many regulations that needed to be followed but The Claremont Forum didn’t have the necessary staff to make sure the market could open safely.

But this is Claremont. When it comes to community, there are few cities who do community better.

The Claremont Kiwanis as well as the Claremont High School Key Club and other community volunteers stepped in with a small army of dedicated individuals that helped the market get back in business. Raul Rodriguez, who was president of the Claremont Kiwanis at the time of the reopening organized an online volunteer sign-up sheet and rallied his volunteers to the market every Sunday. These market “ambassadors” made sure the market didn’t have too many shoppers at once. They gently reminded shoppers to wear their mask and follow the other health department regulations that made the market a safe place to return to. Without their consistency, enthusiasm, patience and generosity reopening would not have been possible.

“I think we were all excited to have the farmers market back,” said volunteer Sonja Stump, “it felt so good to see people again. The farmers market is an important part of the community – we all missed it!” 

The market was able to reopen at the end of June 2020. The market usually slows down in the summer, but the summer of 2020 was quite busy and volunteers continued to work through the heat. Now, ten months later, restrictions are still in place and the Claremont Forum remains grateful to those volunteers who continue to come out every Sunday. On behalf of the Claremont Forum Board of Directors, thank you. Your help means a great deal to the community and you have been a lifeline for the Claremont Forum when we most needed support.

Thank You!

Below are some of the volunteers who came out every Sunday morning, rain or shine, to help at the Farmers & Artisans Market.

Claremont Kiwanis
Market Volunteers

Raul Rodriguez 
Maria Rodriguez 
Bob Fagg 
Linda Clinton 
Ed Leavell 
Barbara Rugeley 
Jennifer Stark 
Jess Swick  
Ted Wootton 
Andre Ellis
Danny Holznecht
Steven Llanussa 
Thomas Messina
Fulton Elgin
Jerry Feingold
Pat Lee
Jennifer Field
John Thompson

 

Community Volunteers

Sonja Stump 
Andrea Bennett 
Virginia Ramirez
Taylor Smith
Monica Francisco 
Jonathan Montes
Andrew Vo
Linda Weimer 

Claremont HS Key Club

Boushra Bettir
Lyna Bui
Michelle Chiu
Katheryn Enriquez
Victoria Figueroa
Sarisa Hoang
Afiya Imam
Stell Kuang
Goldie La
Sydney La
Jannet Ngo
Lily Nguyen
Priscilla Nunez
Bella Sanvictores
Tom Truong
Jojo Wren
Olvia Yang

Farmers Market Ambassadors in Action

Say Thank You!

The Kiwanis Club of Claremont participates in a variety of projects throughout the year that involve community service, assisting children locally and worldwide, and fundraising –  including the Read Me Program, sponsorship of Monday Night Concerts, and Pancake Breakfasts.

Learn more at claremontkiwanis.org.

Consider a donation to support all Kiwanis programs – donate here.

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