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Letter: Rambling River Days frustrations

To the editor,

This past weekend's citywide festival proved to be very interesting. Unfortunately, that's the only nice word I can come up with.

I need to clear a few misconceptions: The city of Farmington does not benefit from Rambling River Days nor receive any of the proceeds. Any money raised goes back to the community through the Easter Carnival, Halloween walk and other community events sponsored by CEEF. It is volunteer operated.

I am very proud to have been on a committee that was very passionate about trying to make a change and help Farmington's residents remember the "good ol' Dew Days." If I didn't believe this could work, I would have bailed months ago. It was not all bad and some of the events will be precious to me forever. Like the Hometown honoree event! Now that was something!

As a part of RRD for years, I've noticed the number of dedicated volunteers get smaller and smaller, but the complaints get more and more. The numbers don't mesh, and that is a shame.

After years of people telling us the festival "stunk" and we had nothing to offer, we decided to blow out the seams and go all out with new events and activities for every age group. We had a great lineup and I still believe it could have worked.

We brought in headliner bands, offered local people and businesses a chance to show the community why they are unique, had new things for kids and seniors, helped support local youth and sporting groups through our volunteer program, the possibilities for this to be huge were there, but it slid right past the "sweet spot."

Who's to blame for this "disaster" as some are calling it? If you believe some it's the co-chair and myself. And I'm ok with that if you can look me in the eye and tell me how you helped us plan and implement this year's event.

The reality of it is, when asked, people went running for cover, dodged our calls, crossed the street when they saw us coming and ignored our pleas for help.

I'd like to ask the people of Farmington, where were you and why weren't you offering to help if you love your community and want it to grow? Why did you neglect to volunteer to help run a stand, hang signs, be on a committee that would help RRD and Farmington by bringing new people into town? We asked but did you respond with "I'm too busy"? I am too but I at least can say I tried.

If you can show me how you helped, then by all means keep the comments and the criticisms coming! But if you sat by quietly, doing nothing, offering nothing then complaining to all how we wrecked a perfectly good event by moving it or by offering new things -- I have no time for you! You know who you are and so do we.

I am sad that RRD is probably gone for good as no one will be nuts enough to take this on. As a perpetual volunteer and lover of helping, I am done. The glass has always been half full in my eyes but after this past weekend, I'd say Farmington's cup is almost empty and that kills me.

To those of us volunteers who put our hearts, souls and precious time into RRD 2008, we can be proud that we gave it our all and we tried! Congratulations on a job well done and I'm proud of us all!

Dolly Newberg,

Co-Chair for RRD 2008