As a recent volunteer for the Skyfest, I would like to express my gratitude to the other volunteers of the event. I met a wonderful group of devoted Augustans who took pride in their talents and gave up their only day off to work an event for our community. Many came with past experiences of working for large outdoor events in the Augusta and surrounding areas.
It broke my spirit to hear Airport Manager Al McDill imply that the volunteers were to blame for the bottleneck and disorganization of Skyfest. These were hard-working people that spent a minimum of 10 hours on that field. We realized that there was a problem at 7 a.m. Saturday morning when no one was there to organize the volunteer tent and direct the groups to their correct locations. At the front gate we were not supplied with any tickets until after 8:20 a.m. By this time a large line had already formed on Lock and Dam Road. We were finally instructed to open the gate at 8:25 a.m.
I paid for tickets for my family to attend. They, with many others, had to turn around or choose to watch the show from Bobby Jones Expressway. The volunteers had no control over the traffic. If we had, everyone could have entered those gates.
I will continue to support Augusta and the many wonderful events we sponsor as volunteers. I will not support an event that will blame an unpaid volunteer for its shortcomings. I hope Mr. McDill has a large budget for next year's event because he will need it. Not many volunteers will show up.
B. Thomann, Martinez