Marilyn Grafft has been a volunteer with Montalvo Association since 1994. This nonprofit cultural center, which resides in the former home of Senator James Phelan, is dedicated to the mission “to inspire the love of arts in everyone-through creation, presentation and education-in extraordinary ways and settings.” A member of the Montalvo Service Group, Grafft has devoted her volunteer time for the last three years to the educational aspect of the mission, as a liaison to the Education and Outreach Department.
Education is important to Grafft, as she is a retired teacher. In her assignment, she recruits, trains, schedules and recognizes the 60+ other Outreach program volunteers. Her peer-to-peer relationship with the program volunteers fosters enthusiasm and dedication to the goals of the program. She also serves on the Outreach committee, which helps define the program’s mission and goals. Grafft also “does her duty” with the other volunteers at program presentations as an usher or hosting a reception, often filling in when other volunteers cancel.
In the words of the program’s director, Grafft is, “extremely reliable and detail-oriented.” She assists staff with the annual Outreach volunteer training. She maintains solid communication between the staff and volunteers so that all are informed about program details. She gives feedback to the staff to help the program stay on track with its goals and ensure a “best fit” for both volunteers and participants.
As a volunteer leader of volunteers, Grafft’s impact is immeasurable. Although her time donated may seem small—about 250 hours annually—her work with the other program volunteers at nearly l00 activities reaches more than 12,000 school children each year. Many of the participating schools would not otherwise be able to provide quality arts experiences to their students. Grafft contributes of time and self, and is dedicated to Montalvo and the arts in her community.