Soon thousands will flock to the 23rd Palm Springs International Film Festival and hundreds of volunteers will ensure details are managed. Many of the volunteers will come from the Festival’s Senior and Active Retirement Programs, which were recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Auen Foundation. The funds will build on the Festival’s extensive volunteer network, which includes approximately 500 senior volunteers who are critical to the success of the International Film Festival in January and the ShortFest in June.
“We appreciate the Auen Foundation for recognizing how essential our volunteers are to the success of the Palm Springs International Film Festival,” said Harriet Baron, Director of Development for the Film Festival. “This gift is one more way the Foundation is enhancing the lives of area seniors who are an integral part of both Festivals. The word-of-mouth recruiting and promotion by our volunteers are priceless.”
The Palm Springs International Film Festival depends greatly on local volunteers who assist at film screenings and the various functions that accompany one of the desert’s largest and premier events of the year. Many of the volunteers are mature adults who work through the Festival’s Active Retirement Program.
“It is very rewarding for seniors to participate in this internationally-known event,” said Catharine Reed, Program Director for the Auen Foundation. “We are happy to support this program that connects seniors with their community.”
Seniors and active retirees are recruited for volunteer positions to help in every aspect of the Film Festival’s operation. The Auen Foundation grant assists in funding a part-time volunteer coordinator and provides for much needed recruitment materials and handouts, to ensure the Film Festival maintains a proper level of volunteer staffing.
The Auen Foundation grant funding also partially underwrites the distribution of free screenings tickets to local senior centers and assists with the Film Festival’s free shuttle busses, which help defer transportation costs for seniors on fixed incomes. Shuttles also make it easier for patrons to see multiple screenings in one day.
The 23rd Palm Springs International Film Festival runs January 5-16, 2012, screening 187 films from more than 70 countries. The Black Tie Awards Gala, featuring an amazing line-up of Hollywood Stars is Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 5 p.m. For more information about the Palm Springs International Film Festival or how to volunteer visit psfilmfest.org.