Meet the 2019 BEVY Volunteer Awards Nominees

Linda Alexander


Linda jumped right in with her first event being Parade!  As an usher she helped people find their assigned seating, while dealing with an inquisitive public.  Linda enjoyed her experience especially since she loves to help people.

Andreas Anhalzer

(no photo available)

A first time volunteer, Andreas was a balloon handler at Parade.  His fellow work colleagues that volunteered with him describes him as having a big heart and a big smile.

Gail Broeckel

Gail Broeckel 2

Gail is probably a familiar face for many of you.  As a long time volunteer Gail  has done it all – and twice on Sunday-  as it relates to the Festival!  As a founding member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) she helps with Volunteer Engagement keeping us up to date on all things Festival related.  She helps recruit volunteers for the festival and the EEC. This year Gail volunteered for Sing Into Spring, Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza, Parade as well as helping out in the office. Gail brings a willingness to serve, even volunteering on her birthday!

Tayla Balkovic

sean and Tayla Kite Cops 2

Although this was Tayla’s first year volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival she jumped right in signing up to be a Lead Volunteer. In her own words: “I very much want to get involved more in the community and engage with others that have the same mind set.”

Tayla volunteered at Pink Tie Party, Blossom Kite Festival, Tidal Basin and Parade.  At Blossom Kite Festival, she took her role as Kite Cop very seriously.  Reporting for duty ready to “police the skies” for any rogue kite fliers.  While that role can be challenging with the crowds and determining whose kite line is who’s she was not deterred.  Tayla truly impressed her fellow volunteers and NCBF staff at Parade.  In her role as West End Usher Manager she stepped up to the plate managing the entire area until relief appeared. Through her leadership of the Ushers, attendees and ticket holders had a great experience.  Once the Parade was over she transitioned to our Dispersal area pitching in when and where needed.  Those around her said Tayla was “On it!” and managed the West End Performance area like a veteran.

Erin Boldi

(no photo available)

As a first-time volunteer Erin jumped right in and volunteered at the Parade Dance and Choir rehearsal and Parade the next day. Working with our merchandise team Erin’s help was greatly appreciated especially with the large and demanding crowds we served.

Termia Brown

Termia Brown 3

In her very first year volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, she embraced all aspects of the Festival!  First volunteering as a Kite Cop on the grounds of the Washington monument at the Blossom Kite Festival. Next, volunteering as part of the Cherry Blossom 10Miler’s Kids Run, helping to restrain aggressive crowds.  That very same day, she volunteered at Petalpalooza assisting with whatever was needed until the end of the event.  Not content with just volunteering Termia also embraced the Festival as a participant running in the Cherry Blossom 5k the very next morning after very little sleep!  She rounded out her Festival volunteer as a Balloon Handler in the Parade.

Colleen Daddario


Colleen is a member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) and has embraced her first year on the committee by stepping in and rolling up her sleeves for this Festival season.  She volunteered for several shifts at Union Station including Load-in, Blossom Kite Festival and Parade. Her fellow volunteers say this about her “She works well with others and sets a positive example for other volunteers”.

Shanta and Michal Cardiel

Shanta and Michal Cardiel

The staff at the Tidal Basin were most appreciative of Shanta and Michal Cardiel nominating them as a couple for this year’s Rising Blossom award.  Both new to NCBF, from day one, they were immediately helpful and open to taking care of whatever was needed to be done for the tent or guests.  They were great with visitors and liked by volunteers (lots of laughter).  Finally, they jumped into action when Tidal Basin staff  realized they had no art paper one Sunday morning after a very busy Saturday. Micah searched out a store, jumped on a scooter, working with Shanta by phone when the store had not opened yet, finally bought the needed packets of paper, biked back through massive crowds from the 10mile run and Mall visitors in time before any kids asked to do art. They have stayed late to cover for no show volunteers and happily helped on a very busy Sunday.

Melissa Chin

Melissa Chin

Melissa is a longtime volunteer who has provided years of service.  She also volunteers with the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival.  Melissa isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves.  She was at Union Station and upon seeing the festival Pop-Up slammed she jumped in and assisted even though she wasn’t signed up for a shift. Melissa also volunteered at Blossom Kite Festival.

DeAngelo Johnson

Dee Johnson 2

Dee just completed his 3rd year volunteering with the festival. This year he volunteered on our Operations Crew for Petalpalooza and down at the West-End for Parade.  Friendly and helpful Dee has recruited his friends to work alongside him too!

Daryl Levine

Daryl Levine

Daryl is a familiar face having volunteered for several years.  This year he helped us in Operations for Blossom Kite Festival and Petalpalooza. One of his fellow volunteers nominated Daryl for his help at Petalpalooza.  At Petalpalooza a sponsor dropped off the supplies to make custom T-shirts.  What wasn’t accounted for was the manpower to use an iron press to press on the designs on the front of the T-shirts.  Daryl jumped in working for hours until supplies ran out. His fellow volunteers said “Without Daryl’s help we would’ve had a very difficult time to run this activation.”

Jenny Nguyen

EECand Jenny with Otsuka

Nominated multiple times Jenny is a first year volunteer and she jumped right in agreeing to work several of our events.  She volunteered for Pink Tie Party, Opening Ceremony, Blossom Kite Festival, Petapalooza and Parade! One of her nominators wrote “I met Jenny at the Kite festival and immediately assumed she was a super volunteer and was only made aware that she was a first year volunteer the end of the Festival. Throughout the festival, she was vibrant, attentive and present and a true pleasure to work with. What struck me most about Jenny was her attention to detail and ability to anticipate needs. She actively checked in with the volunteers of the sponsor organization to ensure they were hydrated and comfortable, she was hyperaware of her surroundings and the safety of others and she did not hesitate to jump in, helping in anyway that she could.”

A consistent description about Jenny from others is her smile, helpfulness and her teamwork attitude.

Cherie Nichols

Gail Cherie

Cherie is a member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) but even outside of that she is always willing to lend a helping hand.  As a member of the Volunteer Engagement working group she keeps us all up to date via the Facebook Group posting events, reminders, information, etc.  This year she volunteered at Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza and Parade. Other volunteers describe her as enthusiastic and generous with her time and as someone that can be counted on.

Josh Strenger

Josh Strenger.jpeg

Josh is no stranger to the Festival having been a volunteer for many years.  Each year he takes on more responsibility.  This year in addition to his role as Operations Manager at Petalpalooza he volunteered at Pink Tie Party, Opening Ceremony, and was a Balloon Manager at Parade.  When asked to volunteer at these additional events he enthusiastically agreed.  His dedication is unmatched, and his can-do attitude greatly appreciated.

Kycia Spriggins


Kycia was nominated multiple times by volunteers, fellow EEC members and staff.  As a member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) Kycia has embraced her co-chair responsibilities. She volunteered for Opening Ceremony, Student Art Contest, Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza, various office tasks, Parade and her favorite Tidal Basin no less than 5 times! Her smiling face, thoughtful suggestions, willingness to jump in and do anything has been commented on by many.

In addition to volunteering Kycia brought her colleagues to the Tidal Basin- including her boss- as a team building activity. She said “I wanted to share something that was important to me and I thought it was a great way to get folks out of the office and just bond and enjoy nature”.

Ashley Walker

Ashley Walker 2

Nominated multiple times Ashley has dedicated several years of service to the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  As a member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) her fellow colleagues have been impressed describing her as “prepared, engaged, and full of great ideas to enhance volunteer and guest experiences at the Festival.”  Ashley is probably familiar to many of you with her smiling face, framed by her signature headband Boppers.  Ashley volunteered this year at Sing Into Spring, Blossom Kite Festival and Parade.  One of the volunteers commented: “She saw the need for extra hands at my station and I did not have to even request her help, she was there!  We spent hours making cherry blossom candies with young children and she greeted and interacted with every child as if they were the very first.  We were also tasked with servicing the portable toilets, you guessed it, she had that same great attitude that you would hope to find in every volunteer.”  Fellow volunteers have mentioned “it’s a pleasure and fun to volunteer with her.”

We will announce our winner of the BEVY Awards at our Volunteer Appreciation Reception on Thursday, April 25, 2019.  Stay tuned!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UPDATE: Peak Bloom Date

For those a little late to the party, the National Park Service has predicted a peak bloom date of April 3-6! Springtime is approaching!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2019 Volunteer Orientation Recap


Thank you so much to everyone that joined us at the Volunteer Orientation! So great to see returning faces and to welcome our newest volunteers.

For those of you who were not able to attend, don’t worry! Click below to view the PowerPoint Presentations that were shared:

If you have any questions regarding the presentations, your role, or anything volunteer related — please let us know at


P.S. Interested in signing up for more shifts? Sign up HERE, or visit your volunteer profile page!
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kicking It Off at Union Station: Helpful Tips For Pop-up Shop Volunteers

Opening ceremony for the National Cherry Blossom Festival may be more than two weeks away, but our volunteers are already setting up shop at Union Station!

Starting this weekend, we are hosting our first set of volunteers over at Union Station to help set-up and run our pop-up shop. In order to make this process easier for our festival volunteers, check out these tips:

1.The National Cherry Blossom Festival Pop-up shop is located in the Main Hall of Union Station. A team member will meet you here at the start of your shift.  Click on the map to get a better look.

2. To avoid getting stuck in DC traffic, check for traveling alerts.

For WMATA alerts, check out

3. Be prepared to meet new people and have a great time!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hot off the Press! Check out our latest Volunteer Newsletter.

Click the link HERE to visit our March Newsletter, filled with new updates and information, as well as more volunteer opportunities!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Volunteer Orientation is March 12th!

Volunteer Orientation is on Tuesday, March 12th at 5:30 PM! An “open-house” style event, Orientation is the time to learn about the Festival events for which you are volunteering! See below on what to expect:

How does it work?

Each room is assigned a different event or topic for you to learn, each with half hour sessions (with the exception of Parade, this has only one (1 – hour) session).  Throughout the night, you’ll have the opportunity to visit up to FOUR different presentations.  The sessions all start and stop at the sound of a bell!  You do not need to be signed up for an event to attend the session.

How do you make the most of this time?

  • Visit the room for each of the events you are signed up for or are interested in.
  • Signed up for Tidal Basin or a Merchandise Shift at Union Station Pop-Up Shop? It would be helpful to attend the Information Session as well since you will be interacting with the most tourists.
  • Ask questions! Festival Staff will be stationed throughout the event so ask away!
  • Sign up for shifts onsite with Kassandra! There will be giveaways for onsite signups!
  • Introduce yourself to your fellow volunteers!

Schedule of Events

5:30pm – Doors Open, Snacks Available

6:00pm – Opening Remarks in Lobby by the Snacks

6:05pm – 1st Bell, head to your 1st class!

6:35pm – 2nd Bell, 2nd Class and Parade Session Begins

7:05pm – 3rd Bell, next class or visit Other Programs, check out Union Station Pop-Up                         shop, or learn about the Festival at Information!

7:35pm – 4th Bell…last class or utilize this time to seek out staff and get your                                   questions answered!

8:00pm – Event Concludes, see you next at the Festival!

Orientation Map – Plan your evening ahead of time!

Orientation Map - for Blog


Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center

901 K Street NW

11th Floor

Washington, DC 20001

Please RSVP HERE, and don’t forget to bring your PHOTO ID!

See you on Tuesday, March 12th!

Can’t make 2019 Volunteer Orientation? We’ll have a few of the presentations available for download afterwards.  Email to request a presentation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Color RunVolunteer Experience by Cherie Nichols

I volunteer at a variety of events so a few years ago I signed up to help at the Color Run.  I helped cheer on runners and toss the color at them.  Last year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival participated and I was only able to help the day before assembling registration packets.  The assembly line worked well and we passed time away talking about what we enjoyed during the Cherry Blossom season.  I was disappointed I couldn’t participate on race day after seeing all of the pictures posted but count me in this year.  It’s a colorful good time!  Hope to see all of you at the Color Run All-Star 5k with me!  

Click here to register to volunteer!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment