News: Volunteer Week starts out with laughs
FORT BLISS, Texas – Comedians Phil Robinet and Patrick Candelaria brought laughter to a roomful of volunteers to kick off “Volunteer Week” at the Centennial, April 16.
With more than 3300 volunteers in the Fort Bliss community, April 16-20, has been set aside as Volunteer Week.
“Volunteer Week is all about celebration and a way to show our appreciation and say thank you to everyone that takes time to volunteer.” said Tephanie Hopper, Fort Bliss’ Army Volunteer Corps Manager. “We brought in a couple of local comedians to start off the week with a couple of laughs.”
Phil Robinet, an electrical engineer by day and an amateur comedian by night was the opening act to get the crowd in a laughing mood. Robinet also won Texas’ Big Brother of the Year award for his involvement with the Big Brother and Big Sister program this year.
The main act was professional comedian Patrick Candelaria who has travelled all over the world entertaining the service members of the Armed Forces. Candelaria has never served in the military but has deep ties.
“My father is buried in the Fort Bliss cemetery and my uncle was the first person to enlist in the Army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941,” said Candelaria.
Candelaria’s first comedic act was in 1998 when he went to Korea to bring laughter to the soldiers. Since then he has performed shows in Germany, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Japan and Kuwait and will continue to entertain the people that serve in the Armed Forces.
“I remember doing a show in 2004, in Iraq, in a soccer field where one side of the stadium is blown up and the other side could seat about 3,000 soldiers, recalls Candelaria. “Who can say that they have done that?”
Candelaria loves to perform and entertain for the soldiers because of their professionalism and the way he is treated when he is out on tour.
“Soldiers would come up to me and thank me for doing my show, but really I should be the one thanking them for what they do.” said Candelaria.
In the spirit of volunteering, both Robinet and Candelaria volunteered their time to perform their acts.
“This is my favorite time of the year because we get to thank the volunteers for giving so much of the time and effort,” said Hopper. “It is a lot of work and it costs a lot of money, but it is important to show everyone that volunteers how much we appreciate them for what do.”
Few of the volunteers and staff members for the Army Volunteer Corps at the party were wearing T-shirts with their motto, “The Force behind the Force” resembling the Star Wars theme on the front and on the back it said “May the force be with you.”
If anyone is interested in volunteering, there is an orientation class three times a week at the Army Community Service on Ricker Road. They will learn about more than 60 different programs in the Fort Bliss community.
Date Posted:06.13.2012 13:25
Location:FORT BLISS, TX, US
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