Parting Thoughts: You + Time x Passion = A Village

In Magazine, May 2018 by Leslie JohnsonLeave a Comment

Leslie Johnson survives the KDNK membership drive. Photo, Mark Burrows

You + Time x Passion = A Village

Why Volunteering Rocks

By Leslie Johnson

What is it about Carbondale?” they ask.

Vibrant towns are more than the sum of their parts: that random collage nailed to a phone pole. Stencil graffiti on a utility box. Yarn bombing. Go bigger—the farmers market, movie theater, playground. Even bigger—First Fridays, public radio, theater, school events. Close-by trail systems, street parties, free concerts, festivals…protests and parades.

These moments and other events of “brushing up to life” are summarized in any coffee shop community board. Every poster and flyer vying for space and sharing thumb tacs represents Community. And at the heart of most of them? Volunteers.

Hustlers like Leslie Johnson—a Bonedale player for 38 years– make things happen. Ed- GJV

I love being a part of community events.

I’ve been a long-time volunteer and DJ  for KDNK Radio. I’ve helped at many fundraisers. My show, “Les is More,” was named by a friend way back when I first started, over twenty years ago. I’ve always been a music fan and I love sharing new and old music with everyone, both in the area and around the world.  Friends listen from Ireland every week!

In 2009, Leslie joined Amy Kimberly of the then-Carbondale Council For Arts & Humanities on a trip to Swaziland for an AIDS project.

I’ve volunteered for the arts council and for Mountain Fair for a very long time.

Mountain Fair has always been an incredible event that does not happen without volunteers. I’ve helped with so many aspects of the fair; one of my favorites is on the music committee.  Especially when I’ve put up a good fight for a band, and they make it to Carbondale stage! Seeing them experience our valleys love of music and the the fair is exciting. I enjoyed my time with the community food co-op back in the day, when it first opened on Main Street.

Volunteering with 5 Point Film Festival since its 2007 inception has been an incredible experience.  The passion of the founders of that festival and the film makers is not like anything I have ever experienced. There is so much hard work and dedication that go into the process of film making and so little money being made. The films are inspiring and  life-changing at times.

Everyone remembers Toby <3

Aspen Out and the Gay Ski Week that happens in Aspen every year in January is a very inclusive event that brings awareness to the gay community through education, films, skiing and just plain fun! It’s put on by an incredible group of volunteers. I  really love animals and have helped just a bit with organizations like C.A.R.E. and Lucky Day Animal Rescue. Over the years I’ve helped at adopt-a-thons, running races, dinners. I’ve enjoyed walking dogs at the shelters, just lending a hand and time.  I would like to do more of this in the future.

I am always amazed how much talent and creativity happens in our little town of Carbondale and how the “village” comes together to make events happen from start to finish. The passion and commitment is incredible.

The mission of an organization is important to me. I choose events and organizations that resonate with me. I have worked with so many people from all walks of life. I think when a person volunteers, it is because they really care and they want to be a part of something great.    There is more of a commitment there. For me, I love music, art and passionate individuals. I’ll keep volunteering with these organizations and possibly join some more!”