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Meet the volunteers: Trio are part of a big team making Snoqualmie Railroad Days a success

Northwest Railway Museum volunteer Dan Olah waters flowers at the Snoqualmie Depot. Olah is one of a core of dedicated helpers making sure Railroad Days and the museum
Northwest Railway Museum volunteer Dan Olah waters flowers at the Snoqualmie Depot. Olah is one of a core of dedicated helpers making sure Railroad Days and the museum's mission comes off smoothly.
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

It takes a big team of volunteers to make Railroad Days a success and keep the Northwest Railway Museum chugging year-round. Meet three local volunteers who are helping keep this train on track to success:

Dan Olah: "I help the museum staffer Sue Van Gerpen set up on Thursday, and I’ll staff the Railroad Days Information Booth on Saturday. As a docent at the Railway Museum, I give tours and perform community outreach. I also assist with marketing and education, conduct railroad safety classes, tend the flower beds and generally try to be useful."

Phil Stafford - Snoqualmie

How do you help with Railroad Days/the NW Railway Museum?

I volunteer to coordinate the annual Snoqualmie Railroad Days festival. My true focus is booking entertainment for the Main Stage, however I help wherever I can.

What do you get back from volunteering?

I really enjoy working with all of the volunteers and enjoy bringing in a wide variety of music and entertainment for everyone in our community to enjoy.

What are you excited about for this year's event?

I enjoy all aspects of Railroad Days, but the classic car show and music are the two that I enjoy the most. I am also excited about breaking our attendance record from last year!

How many times have you ridden the train?

Once, but I need to do it more often!

 

Dan Olah

How do you help?

I help the museum staffer Sue Van Gerpen set up on Thursday, and I’ll staff the Railroad Days Information Booth on Saturday. As a docent at the Railway Museum, I give tours and perform community outreach. I also assist with marketing and education, conduct railroad safety classes, tend the flower beds and generally try to be useful.

What do you get from it?

Always more than I put in! It keeps me constructively busy, engaged in the community plus I enjoy meeting many of the visitors from all over the world who come to see our beautiful backyard. As a retired railroader, the Museum keeps me connected with railroads and I have the opportunity do new things while learning more about history

What excites you about this year’s Railroad Days?

The Museum’s sponsorship of the event is in its fourth year, and although there’s a lot of work that goes into preparation, the festival gets better each year. The business community and Valley residents have embraced it and Railroad Days will continue to improve as more people become involved.

How many times have you ridden the train?

More times than I can count, and I still enjoy it every time!

 

 

Lanice Gillard, Snoqualmie

How do you help with Railroad Days/the NW Railway Museum?

I’m on the RR Days Committee and will be hosting Children’s Plein Air Painting through the Snoqualmie Arts Commission. I’m also looking for folks to join the parade, be sponsors and give items to the “Balloon Pop”. I love our Railroad Museum and our beautiful trains. I’m a photographer and the rustier trains are my favorites. I love all their colorful character and rich history.

What do you get back from volunteering?

I like to be a catalyst and introduce people to each other (I call it “connecting the dots”). We have so much talent here. And we all celebrate the beauty of the Snoqualmie Valley. Why not work together? I especially hope to see our local artists flourish and am rotating art with Sally Rackets and Gloria McNeely at City Hall and Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Center via the SAC. We currently have a Railroad themed show in place and it’s wonderful.

What are you excited about for this year's event?

I’m looking forward to painting with the children, hearing some great bands and judging the Plein Air Paint Out with the SAC. I’m also looking forward to the Parade. It will start out with a nice surprise this year.

How many times have you ridden the train?

I rode the train a few times 20 years ago when I lived in West Seattle and then took my kids to see Thomas when we lived in Edmonds. We’ve rode it a few more times for father’s day and my family rode it for Volunteer Appreciation this year. It is always a lot of fun.

 

• Learn more about Railroad Days at http://www.railroaddays.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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