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Monday, April 21, 2014

Training session for volunteers scheduled

There will be a training session held for people who want to volunteer during next week's First Fridays event.
Zina Kumok
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — People interested in volunteering for next week’s First Fridays event are welcome to attend a training session for prospective ambassadors.

The training session will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at LaCasa, 202 N. Cottage Ave., Goshen. Kelly Sauder Neff and Anne Lehman of the Center for Community Justice will lead the training.

Some of the techniques that the session will address are nonverbal communication, de-escalation, dealing with crowds and handling your own triggers. First Fridays has had trouble recently with groups of teenagers getting into fights, blocking sidewalks in front of businesses and causing general disruption.

The Goshen City Council has wrestled with these issues. It nixed an ordinance that would have instituted a 9 p.m. curfew, but it put one on hold that disallows large groups from blocking sidewalks, according to an earlier Elkhart Truth story.

There was a short training session held before April’s First Friday event, but LaCasa neighborhood outreach coordinator Julia King said this one will be more extensive.

“We’re responding to some of the feedback, the experience that ambassadors had,” she said.

King was an ambassador during those festivities and said she enjoyed the experience. People will be paired up and she encourages people to bring a friend to make it more fun.

King, however, wants volunteers to “remember we’re there to enhance the experience for people. We’re there to smooth things over, not to be bouncers.”

King said that attending the training session does not commit a person to attend First Friday.

For information contact King at LaCasa at 533-4450 or Julia.King@lacasa.net, or Kalaine Fields at Kalainerene@gmail.com.

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