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 volunteer@ncbfdc.org


P.S. Interested in signing up for more shifts? Sign up HERE, or visit your volunteer profile page!
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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 https://www.wmata.com/service/status/

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


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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!

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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 kkearse@ncbfdc.org to request a presentation.

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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!


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The National Cherry Blossom Festival held it’s 2nd Annual Barbara Ehrlich Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony this past month at our Volunteer Appreciation Event.

The Barbara Ehrlich Volunteer of the Year Award (BEVY) recognizes an outstanding volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service to the National Cherry Blossom Festival has made a significant difference and mirrors the commitment to Festival Values of Friendship friendship and community spirit.  Volunteer must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  1. Provided long term exceptional service to the National Cherry Blossom Festival
  2. Performed a single action that has had a large impact on the success of a Festival event or events
  3. Advanced the Festival Mission through talent and service

We had 11 amazing volunteers nominated for the BEVY, and it was very hard for our Event Execution Committee (EEC) to choose the recipients.  Each of these volunteers have put so much into this Festival, and each deserve to be recognized for their efforts and support throughout the entire Festival.

Congratulations to all of our recipients and nominees!

Dawn French (recipient of the Barbara Ehrlich Volunteer of the Year Award) is a librarian and a ballet lover.  She has been a volunteer with the National Cherry Blossom Festival for quite some time and is a huge help to the Tidal Basin Welcome Area Staff.


From Left to Right: Michael Blackwell (BEVYRB), Dawn French (BEVY), and Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage Info Tent Manager Kassandra Kearse

Michael Blackwell (recipient of the BEVY Rising Blossom Award) The Bevy Rising Blossom Award recognizes outstanding volunteerism and dedication from a first year volunteer with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Michael volunteered almost every day at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage in addition to the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade(r).

Mike Auldridge (recipient of the BEVY Leadership Award) Mike Auldridge has been volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival since 2012 and currently serves on the Event Execution Committee as one of the Co-Chairs of the Information Subcommittee.



Jacqueline Giraldo-Smith is a long term volunteer with the National Cherry Blossom Festival and looks forward to assisting the Festival in any way (and there are quite a few different ways) she can every year.


Dee Johnson De’Anzlo Johnson was born in Washington D.C. He is the oldest of 5 children. He attended Whittier Elementary and Backus middle school. He moved to Montgomery County and graduated from Kennedy High School. DeAnzlo went on to obtain his associates degree in criminal justice.  He also holds a certification in suicide prevention. He is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in psychology. He works at the DC department of health.

De’Anzlo was a EMT candidate in Montgomery County. He volunteers at the DC Reeves center located in DC as the chair of the health group. He also works with a youth group that is also held at the Reeve’s center.

He has worked with the National Cherry Blossom for the last two years and was instrumental in helping with this year’s Parade.


Sylvia Lee is a first year volunteer with the National Cherry Blossom Festival but showed great leadership onsite at Petalpalooza and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade(r).

Kristie Primmer Kristie L. Primmer is the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO at Aerospace Industries Association.  Providing high-level assistance to the Office of the President at AIA, she manages and supervises all support for the President enabling AIA to meet its strategic objectives.  In addition to serving as a liaison to the AIA Executive Committee and senior leadership, she coordinates executive outreach, organizes external relations efforts and overseas special projects and events.  

Primmer joined AIA from Exelis Inc., where she was the Executive Assistant to the CEO and President since 2008. In May 2015, Primmer received The Gold Ring of Quality Award for her outstanding quality contributions to Exelis.

Primmer has a bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College, a master’s degree in human resources development from George Washington University, and has her  Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification . Recently her rescue beagle, Charlie, became a certified People. Animals. Love. (PAL) therapy dog and is looking forward brightening the lives of others.  Kristie was a standout volunteer at the FDR Memorial with the MARS Petcare Team.


Cherie Nichols Cherie Nichols is a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland.  She enjoys living in the Washington, DC area because of its rich culture and diversity.  Plus, there is always plenty to see and do throughout the year. Cherie has volunteered with the Cherry Blossom Festival since 2013 and served as a subcommittee member this past year on the Volunteer Engagement committee.  Her favorite hobbies include traveling and volunteering because it gives her the opportunity to meet new people and try new things. This is her second year being nominated for the BEVY.

Cherie Nichols

Diana Nichols Has been one of the most active and reliable office volunteers for the past 3 years.  It is largely because of her, that the National Cherry Blossom Festival organization was able to have a successful move to the new office space at the end of 2017. She was also very helpful at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage.

Josh Strenger Has been an active volunteer for the past 3 years with leadership positions at the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, Petalpalooza, and Pink Tie Party.  This is his second year being nominated for the BEVY.


Jwalifa Veeramachaneni Jay Veeramachaneni is a Cyber Risk Consultant at Deloitte. Having grown up in the area, she always enjoyed the events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and was happy to be able to give back as a volunteer this year. Jay was nominated for her amazing volunteerism at the Union Station Merchandise Kiosk.Jay


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Volunteer Role of The Week: Office Corporation

Let’s have a look at the Office Corporation shift this week!

office help

As the festival goes on, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is having more office administrative tasks that need to be completed in order to support the signature events. There is a need of volunteers interested in performing various office tasks. It is also a very good opportunity to take a closer look at how the events are prepared and what is involved in the festival.

The office tasks include merchandise inventory, auction assistant, blossom decal delivery, events preparation, sponsor recaps mark up, mailing assembly, etc.. Volunteer should remain professional in an office environment. The familiarity with Google Drive, such as Docs, Sheets, and G-mail is a plus!

Want to be an office volunteer? Contact Eagle of Volunteer Department at yzhang@ncbfdc.org. Please also feel free to contact if you have any questions! Looking forward to seeing you in the office!

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