Celebrating Our September Spotlight Volunteers

Anne Gould (left) and Pam Garlock (right) with Managing Director Becca Eldredge

Pam Garlock and Anne Gould have been volunteering for the Venice Performing Arts Center (VPAC) since its inception in 2014. Most recently they have become volunteers for the Venice Institute for Performing Arts (VIPA), the management company that runs the theater. They do both ushering and ticket scanning, and can also be seen as faces of the company when volunteering at community events.

Seeing all of the VPAC shows is an added perk, but it’s not the reason they volunteer. The two reside in Venetian Falls, an active adult community, and as soon as the VIPA season brochures were printed, they immediately grabbed a bundle to take back home. “The shows and opportunities are so good that we want to share and spread the word to the community. When you have a great establishment like this, then you’re really proud of it.”

I recently sat down with them to ask them a few questions about themselves, and about why they chose to volunteer with us.

What do you like about volunteering for VIPA?

Pam: Meeting new people (patrons and volunteers), seeing all of the different the shows, having a great opportunity to be social.

Anne: Being social, meeting people, seeing friends and family when they walk in the front doors for a show, enjoying the performances!

Pam also wanted to share why she is such a strong advocate for the theater: “The VPAC is a great thing for the community, so we enjoy spreading the word.”

Why do you support the arts?

Pam and Anne: Because they’re fantastic! The staff is so involved and committed to this building and community that it makes us want to help.

What other organizations do you support?

Pam: “We are boys’ girls!” The duo volunteers for their community’s Security Patrol at Venetian Falls.

I asked them about where else they volunteered, knowing how busy the two of them usually are, and was blown away by the variety of wonderful organizations that they spend their time with. Both Pam and Anne volunteer every year at the Venice Chalk Festival, and weekly at several different places such as the Twig, Sarasota County Disaster Assistance, and All Faith’s Food Bank. Pam also separately volunteers at Venice Theatre and for Turtle Patrol. She previously spent 5 years volunteering with Mote Marine.

How did you end up in Venice?

Pam: I retired. I had a friend here from up north who wanted me to come down and check things out. I visited several different locations like Captiva and Bradenton and I absolutely without a doubt wanted to live in Venice.

Anne: My sister lived in Port Charlotte for some time, and her husband was going to pass so I moved down to be with her. My sister gave me three areas that I could potentially live in, Port Charlotte, North Port, or Venice, and I chose Venice.

There was one last thing that our September Spotlight Volunteers wanted to share: “We really appreciate the work that the staff does here at VIPA. It’s a lot of opportunity and fun for us, but we also have flexibility due to volunteering! Working with people, being out in the community and sharing this beautiful facility is why we do what we do.”