Meet the Pumpkin Fest Team

The time before opening night of Pumpkin Fest is very hectic, with the team setting up displays to get ready for our guests, and ensuring we have 50 volunteers each night we are open. It takes hundreds of volunteers to do this month long event, and we appreciate each and every one.

Friends of Silvermont would like to take a moment to recognize the leader of our group and key team members.

The top left photo shows the guy who leads the Pumpkin Fest team, and is guaranteed to work more hours on Pumpkin Fest than anyone else: Joe Dapkins, head Pumpkinteer. The rest of us work a lot, but we know the hours and dedication he puts in every day, and the skills he employs, both personal and mechanical.

This year’s move in and set up has been blessed by the help of many JROTC students from Transylvania County schools, Rotary Club of Brevard, community volunteers, and many Friends of Silvermont (FOS) volunteers, but has been challenging with key volunteer leaders being unavailable for a variety of unforeseen reasons. We are all looking forward to opening weekend and a chance to recover a little next week.

We also lost one of the musician groups on Saturday, October 14, but they have been replaced by a Brevard favorite, Unpaid Bill & the Bad Czechs!!! Thank you to Bill and his group for stepping forward to help and Jeanne Hunter for arranging!

Please meet the entire Pumpkin Fest team!

Many of us wear multiple hats. Maury Bandurraga does publicity, advertising and calendar postings as well as coordinate distribution of publicity materials, including taking materials to Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville and Saluda. Maury also assists with recruiting volunteers and helps our Volunteer Leader, as well as manages the Silvermont Park Facebook page.

Erik Rasmussen is FOS president, is a key team leader for set-up, and recruited and managed sponsors this year. He also serves as event manager one weekend of Pumpkin Fest.

Joe Dapkins is FOS vice president and fills in when Erik isn’t available and is our Pumpkin Fest leader. He schedules the move in and set-up process and is a resource for everyone else.

Kristen Alpert is our FOS treasurer and usually our main cashier for Pumpkin Fest and manages a lot of the kids activities.

Jeanne Hunter is our artistic guru who designed all of our new exhibits and also arranged music groups each night, and coordinates our trail actors. She also has served as event manager for one weekend of Pumpkin Fest.

Pinkie Byrd is FOS secretary and in charge of the mansion activities. She also was the porch leader this year and led move out at the hangar on September 23.

Alice Moran is in charge of Pumpkin Fest signs and got hay bales donated, among many other tasks.

Jenny Tierney is an FOS board member and a key resource in set up.

Ruth Wright is our lead volunteer coordinator and a key team leader in set-up.

Chet Wright is another key team leader for set-up and FOS board member. He is training to be an event manager, and wrote the story of Syd the White Squirrel, a new display last year. He also has revamped the FOS website, which is key to Pumpkin Fest publicity.

Frances Rasmussen is a key person in set-up, especially assisting Erik and Jeanne, and setting up a beautiful story telling area. She and Erik are also responsible for designing our trail lighting system, which replaced the need for bringing flashlights to safely walk the trail in early years.

Joni Pavlik is an FOS board member and arranges our Pumpkin Fest food trucks and coffee shop resources, important to the event’s success.

Jeff Dapkins is our head parking guy each night of the event, as well as setting up music for several displays.

There are many, many others who contribute to set-up and event nights, but these are the key leaders. If they look exhausted on opening night, you will understand why. Thanks to all of them for being Pumpkin Fest key leaders and making this year a fun and successful event!!

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