On Saturday, we got up early, stopped for a quick breakfast, and drove to Fayetteville for the big Red Cross event. We got to the event site a little after 8am and found a great parking spot nearby where we would be stationed all day. We checked in at the volunteer tent and got our T-shirts and Andy talked to his co-workers about all the details. Our job for the day was to run the water slide area. Andy and a few teens helped the company set up the 4 huge water slides before the event started. I was checking in the teens and making sure people knew what to do. We had 3 shifts of youth volunteers all day to man the slides. The youth did a great job! We had some of our returning youth, some new youth who were just starting with our year round Red Cross program, and some from the Fayetteville Red Cross chapter. We had a few incredible parents who helped out during the shifts too.
It rained a little in the afternoon and we had to shut the slides down for about 45 min. That rainstorm blew over pretty quickly and we were able to open the slides back up. But then a little later that evening, just when the crowds started to pick up for the concert....the skies got really dark, really fast. And it started storming like crazy. We shut down the slides, everyone ran for cover. We waited a little while, but this storm was wasn't blowing over - it was miserable. We were pretty sure that the rest of the event would be cancelled and we certainly were done with the water slides. We waited with the youth until parents came and then, dripping wet and really tired, we drove home. We lost Andy's crocs and our lawn chairs in the storm...but, luckily there were no other casualties....we didn't want to go and look for them in the pouring wind and rain.
A Fayetteville newspaper reporter interviewed Andy - he didn't make it in the article, but he had a good time talking with the reporter. It was sad that such a great event had to end early with all that chaos. And we were really sore and exhausted the next day....but proud of our volunteer youth and happy with all we had done.