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 Please also feel free to contact if you have any questions! Looking forward to seeing you in the office!

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Five Things I Have Learned From Being a Volunteer –Krystal Johnson

It’s that time again! Yay!! The cherry blossom festival is in full swing and I thought it would be nice to share five things I have learned from volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

1.The people that you meet while working at the festival are amazing.

The National Cherry Blossom festival has some of the absolute best volunteers who are so friendly and warm so you are sure to make friends.


2.Volunteering for the festival gives you a behind the scenes view.

While you are volunteering at the festival you get to see how things are set up and the amount of work that goes into setting up events. It really makes you feel good that you are apart of it.


3.You learn a lot about DC.

While working in some positions such as the information tent, you learn all about the tidal basin, restaurants and things to do in DC so you can relay that Information to the guests.


4.You get to meet people from all over the world.

People from all over the world come down to the cherry blossom festival every year and it’s so fun learning what countries they came from.


5.You get to have so much fun!

Volunteering for the festival is a one of a kind experience that is wonderful and so much fun! You will never be bored and afterwards you are left with an experience that you will never forget.


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Volunteer Role of the Week: 2018 Petcare Team

Let’s take a look at the new 2018 Petcare Team Shifts this week!

Love dogs? You’ll love this new volunteer opportunity with the Festival! This year the Festival is teaming up with Mars Petcare and its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS(TM) program to ensure the Festival is “Pet Ready” and dogs attending are healthy, happy and safe. As part of the partnership with Mars Petcare, the Festival will provide pet comfort services throughout the Festival. Events include Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza and Tidal Basin will have this service!

Team members will be on-site at the pop-up comfort station located at the FDR Memorial and engage with attendees to highlight responsible pet ownership and the importance of creating more pet-friendly spaces, as well as giving attendees pet perks!

Because of the shift in peak bloom we have new shifts!

Sign up on the site!

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Tips for Volunteering at Blossom Kite Festival

The Blossom Kite Festival is a fun tradition. If you are volunteering for this event, you will have a great time.  You will also have a full day. Here are a few tips to help improve your shift:

1. Plan ahead

You can research metro at “”. You can check out routes and fares of buses and metro trains.  Metro doesn’t start running until 7am on Saturdays.  You may need to carpool or ride on Uber/Lyft.  There are garages in the area but they will be crammed full with all the other people attending the festival.  Public transportation is the best way to come, if you can.

2. Check the weather and wear layers

If you have an earlier arrival time, it will be chillier.  Layers all you to adjust throughout the day.  I usually bring thin gloves.  It makes a difference when it is windy.  If you are working with arts and crafts, fingerless gloves are useful.

3. Wear sunscreen

Even if it is cloudy, you are still getting plenty of sun.  Bring sunglasses too.

4. Bring snacks

It helps to have snacks with you. I try to have trail mix, a piece of fruit and my water bottle.  The Festival provides Kind Bars, if you don’t like those, bring your own!

5. Wear comfortable shoes

Sometimes the area can get dusty or muddy.  My favorite type of shoes to wear at the kite festival are gardening crocks.  They are comfortable to stand in and easy to wash off.

6. Charge your phone

Make sure you have any contact information you need or at least get your team leader’s phone number when you arrive on site.

7. If you need a break

check with your volunteer lead/contact to make sure you aren’t leaving an area without having a replacement.

8. Notice what is around you.

You might be working with a craft table and someone could still ask you: “Where is the bathroom? Nearest ATM? Metro?”  If you don’t know the answer, don’t guess.  Direct attendees to the Information Tent to answer any questions.

9. Be flexible.

Sometimes you may be asked to move to a different area than what you were assigned.  The staff always appreciates a willingness to help out.

10. Have fun!

Ask attendees what they like about the Blossom Kite Festival.  Make sure you look up during your shift!  You can see some incredible works of art flying around.



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Volunteer Role of the Week: Union Station Merchandise Kiosk

Let’s have a look at the Union Station Merchandise Kiosk shift this week!

Union Station Store 2Union Station Kiosk

National Cherry Blossom Festival official merchandise is sold every year at our Merchandise Kiosk on the Union Station. There are lots of festival-related items to sell and volunteers will have an opportunity to access every festival item in the kiosk.

Union Station Store

Volunteers will see what goes into preparing sales of official Festival Merchandise from start to finish. The role includes assisting tourists with selecting the perfect National Cherry Blossom Festival keepsake, kindly sharing directions and National Cherry Blossom Festival information with visitors, and assisting with organization and restocking of merchandise as needed.

This is not only a role of selling merchandise, but also educating tourists about our nationally-renowned annual Festival!


2017-NCBF-Union StationVolunteers will work with Dyane and the rest of the super fun Union Station team, who always make the work exciting and interesting.

There are only 2 volunteers scheduled at a time for the kiosk, not a crowded shift and it’s even indoors!  Volunteers always enjoy and have fun!

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Happy Hour Tonight- Cancelled

EEC Hospitality Subcommittee has made the decision to cancel tonight’s Volunteer Happy Hour ahead of the snow that’s coming our way. Stay safe out there and stay tuned for the next Volunteer Social Event!

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