Dublin Villager

Dublin Irish Festival Scholarship

Keiffer's variety of volunteering pays dividends

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Sam Kieffer has been a jack of all trades at the Dublin Irish Festival.

The 2014 Coffman High School graduate snagged the 2010 Best of the Fest Youth Volunteer award and, most recently, the Dublin Irish Festival Scholarship for all his work there.

"I started back several years ago before I was even allowed to (volunteer)," he said. "I was below the age group, but I started volunteering in the Wee Folk area at the Irish festival," Kieffer said.

"I did that for several years and eventually tried out several options over the years."

Volunteering has been a family event for Kieffer, who has held nearly every position at the festival.

"I have worked in the Wee Folk area with arts and crafts," he said.

"I've worked in the hospitality kitchen cooking food for performers.

"I have been a (golf cart) shuttle (driver) for entertainers to take groups to appropriate stages," Kieffer said.

"I've also done the same thing with beverages, taking them to different stations.

"I've been at admission gates, checking tickets and I was at the volunteer headquarters dispatching people to their posts."

Kieffer's favorite volunteer job at the festival so far has been interacting with the entertainers while shuttling them to performance areas.

"You get to meet the entertainers and find out where they're from, what they're doing here," he said.

"I really like that one. And you get to explore the Irish Festival and roam the grounds."

The Best of the Fest Youth Volunteer award Kieffer won in 2010 came from some serious work with the festival.

"I did a semi-internship before the festival for several weeks and worked at the events and administration building," he said.

"I did a lot of set up and figured out crafts for the Wee Folk area and organized it so it would be easy for people to use."

Kieffer also had a hand in posters and banners advertising the festival and worked several volunteer shifts at the festival itself.

"I clocked a lot of volunteer hours," he said.

The Dublin Irish Festival isn't only about volunteering for Kieffer, however.

"One of my favorite bands is Gaelic Storm," he said.

"I've watched them for years on end."

Kieffer has also put in volunteer hours elsewhere in Dublin.

"The Irish Festival is my main volunteering, but throughout the years I've done the Scioto River clean up (and) done Earth Day volunteering with planting trees and cleaning up around town," Kieffer said.

"I did blue bird box monitoring. I did that for a couple of years as well."

Kieffer plans to take classes at Columbus State Community College next year and work towards his Associate of Science degree with plans to transfer somewhere else to pursue a mechanical engineering degree.

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