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Huntington’s Rails and Ales Festival looking for volunteers

From the The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.  – In an effort to attract volunteers to help run the fifth annual Rails and Ales Festival on Aug. 12, organizers are offering donations to nonprofit organizations in exchange for people’s time.

For each team of six members that completes a six-hour shift, festival organizers will donate $500 to the team’s nonprofit organization of choice, so long as that organization has a 501(c)(3) status, according to a news release from organizer Jessica Pressman. There is no limit to the number of teams each organization may assemble, but all volunteers must be at least 21 years old and in good physical health, as they will be required to stand for the majority of their shift in potentially hot or inclement weather.

All volunteers will be provided a break, a meal and a “Brew Crew” T-shirt to wear while working the festival.

Training will be provided to volunteers, who can choose from two shifts: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 4 to 10 p.m.

This will be the second year the festival has run the nonprofit volunteer program. Last year, festival organizers donated over $10,000 to a number of organizations, including Friends of Ironton, One by One Animal Advocates, Little Victories, INTO Giving, Tri-State Lady Pony Express Basketball Club and Team for West Virginia Children. Organizers expect to donate over $20,000 following this summer’s event.

Pressman said the craft beer festival is hosting its largest event yet this summer and will need hundreds of volunteers.

“As the festival has grown, so has our need for volunteers. We have an awesome group of volunteers that has been with us since the beginning, but after the success of our first few festivals, it became clear that we would need a larger pool of volunteers, and we were struggling with recruiting enough people. This idea was born out of a need for more committed volunteers and a desire to give back to the community that we love,” said Jay Fox, festival organizer, in the release. “The program has been extremely successful so far, and we look forward to growing it as the festival continues to expand.”

The deadline for team submissions is July 7. Team submissions and additional information can be found at

The festival also has a volunteer program for individuals who do not want to be part of a nonprofit team but still want to help out. More information on the Individual Volunteer program can be found at or by emailing Kelli at [email protected].

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