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November 2011 - Volunteer Spotlight - Joe Jaros

November 2011 Joe Jaros

November 2011 - Volunteer Spotlight - Joe Jaros

“All my MerleFest memories are special. The four days are my favorite time of year. I get to hear good music and be around good people in a wholesome, family atmosphere.” MerleFest volunteer Joe Jaros sums up his MerleFest experience with these words.


Joe and his wife, Maureen, moved from the Sierra Foothills of California to Yadkinville, North Carolina, in the summer of 2004, and the next April Joe volunteered at his first MerleFest. He read about the festival and volunteering in the Winston-Salem Journal. “As a volunteer, everyone has been polite and kind to me, and the crowds have been easy to work with. I am particularly impressed with the programs for families and children. Everyone seems to be having fun, and I have not witnessed the problems that are typically associated with music festivals.”


Joe enjoys history, sports, traditional music (“I have absolutely no talent”), puttering around the house, volunteering and travelling. These are well-deserved activities for a double-retiree! He retired as a Commander in the U.S Navy and then began a second career as a high school math teacher where he was voted Teacher of the Year.  


At MerleFest Joe has volunteered in Hospitality, Raffle, as a Walker Center Stage Usher and as a Greeter. He enjoys spending time in the Traditional Tent where he has the opportunity to watch and listen to many of the greats up close. Another favorite venue is the Little Pickers Tent where he gets a glimpse of the “great talent of many of our future entertainers.” Joe continues, “What I see in the incredible talent of the younger artists at MerleFest is a direct result of the dedication and support of their families, friends and mentors.”


Due to two knee surgeries in early 2011, Joe was unable to volunteer at MerleFest 2011. He has worked hard on his rehabilitation and will definitely be back at MerleFest 25!