A volunteer is a person who voluntarily offers himself for a task, responsibility, project or undertaking on his own accord without needing to be told to do so. This is a description of all the people behind Ice Alaska. Ice Alaska, which sponsors the Ice Art Championships, is run/operated solely by volunteers. The month-long event (plus months of planning before the month event) runs like a well-oiled machine, thanks to the tireless dedication of these people who give so selflessly of their time.
There are 16 job areas and all areas need, love and appreciate their volunteers. These areas are: 1. Administration, 2. Concessions (tickets and food), 3. Park Activities-these volunteers build the Kids’ Park, 4. Publicity, 5. Logistics -Ice Alaska couldn’t function without these busy folks-setting up scaffolding, filling water barrels, trash pick-up, Porta-potty monitoring, hanging sunscreens, clean up, hanging banners. 6. Transportation 7. Website/webcams 8. Marketing, 9. Operations-these volunteers are responsible for everything involving ice, including the cutting and moving of the blocks, 10. Safety and Security- this includes the First Aid station, 11. Sculpture and Park Lighting, 12. Sculpture Support, 13. Meals/Lodging-this includes feeding all the artists and volunteers, 14. Sculptor Committee-communicating with the artists, many of whom do not speak English, 15. Digital Publications-coordinating photography, 16. Judging.
The majority of volunteers live in Fairbanks, but there are many who travel, sometimes great distances, just to work here at the park. I have talked with people from Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina and Kansas, just to name a few of the states, who travel to Fairbanks just to volunteer at Ice Alaska.
On your next visit to Ice Alaska to play on the kids’ slides, and to view the incredible ice creations carved by very skilled artists, please remember that everything you are experiencing in the park has been made possible by a volunteer. Just for a fun, oh by the way fact: I spoke with a lady today, Bonnie, who has been volunteering since 1992. She told me that when she started selling tickets, she and the other ticket sellers stood outside for their entire shift and sold tickets in the cold.