Meet the 2019 BEVY Volunteer Awards Nominees

Linda Alexander


Linda jumped right in with her first event being Parade!  As an usher she helped people find their assigned seating, while dealing with an inquisitive public.  Linda enjoyed her experience especially since she loves to help people.

Andreas Anhalzer

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A first time volunteer, Andreas was a balloon handler at Parade.  His fellow work colleagues that volunteered with him describes him as having a big heart and a big smile.

Gail Broeckel

Gail Broeckel 2

Gail is probably a familiar face for many of you.  As a long time volunteer Gail  has done it all – and twice on Sunday-  as it relates to the Festival!  As a founding member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) she helps with Volunteer Engagement keeping us up to date on all things Festival related.  She helps recruit volunteers for the festival and the EEC. This year Gail volunteered for Sing Into Spring, Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza, Parade as well as helping out in the office. Gail brings a willingness to serve, even volunteering on her birthday!

Tayla Balkovic

sean and Tayla Kite Cops 2

Although this was Tayla’s first year volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival she jumped right in signing up to be a Lead Volunteer. In her own words: “I very much want to get involved more in the community and engage with others that have the same mind set.”

Tayla volunteered at Pink Tie Party, Blossom Kite Festival, Tidal Basin and Parade.  At Blossom Kite Festival, she took her role as Kite Cop very seriously.  Reporting for duty ready to “police the skies” for any rogue kite fliers.  While that role can be challenging with the crowds and determining whose kite line is who’s she was not deterred.  Tayla truly impressed her fellow volunteers and NCBF staff at Parade.  In her role as West End Usher Manager she stepped up to the plate managing the entire area until relief appeared. Through her leadership of the Ushers, attendees and ticket holders had a great experience.  Once the Parade was over she transitioned to our Dispersal area pitching in when and where needed.  Those around her said Tayla was “On it!” and managed the West End Performance area like a veteran.

Erin Boldi

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As a first-time volunteer Erin jumped right in and volunteered at the Parade Dance and Choir rehearsal and Parade the next day. Working with our merchandise team Erin’s help was greatly appreciated especially with the large and demanding crowds we served.

Termia Brown

Termia Brown 3

In her very first year volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, she embraced all aspects of the Festival!  First volunteering as a Kite Cop on the grounds of the Washington monument at the Blossom Kite Festival. Next, volunteering as part of the Cherry Blossom 10Miler’s Kids Run, helping to restrain aggressive crowds.  That very same day, she volunteered at Petalpalooza assisting with whatever was needed until the end of the event.  Not content with just volunteering Termia also embraced the Festival as a participant running in the Cherry Blossom 5k the very next morning after very little sleep!  She rounded out her Festival volunteer as a Balloon Handler in the Parade.

Colleen Daddario


Colleen is a member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) and has embraced her first year on the committee by stepping in and rolling up her sleeves for this Festival season.  She volunteered for several shifts at Union Station including Load-in, Blossom Kite Festival and Parade. Her fellow volunteers say this about her “She works well with others and sets a positive example for other volunteers”.

Shanta and Michal Cardiel

Shanta and Michal Cardiel

The staff at the Tidal Basin were most appreciative of Shanta and Michal Cardiel nominating them as a couple for this year’s Rising Blossom award.  Both new to NCBF, from day one, they were immediately helpful and open to taking care of whatever was needed to be done for the tent or guests.  They were great with visitors and liked by volunteers (lots of laughter).  Finally, they jumped into action when Tidal Basin staff  realized they had no art paper one Sunday morning after a very busy Saturday. Micah searched out a store, jumped on a scooter, working with Shanta by phone when the store had not opened yet, finally bought the needed packets of paper, biked back through massive crowds from the 10mile run and Mall visitors in time before any kids asked to do art. They have stayed late to cover for no show volunteers and happily helped on a very busy Sunday.

Melissa Chin

Melissa Chin

Melissa is a longtime volunteer who has provided years of service.  She also volunteers with the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival.  Melissa isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves.  She was at Union Station and upon seeing the festival Pop-Up slammed she jumped in and assisted even though she wasn’t signed up for a shift. Melissa also volunteered at Blossom Kite Festival.

DeAngelo Johnson

Dee Johnson 2

Dee just completed his 3rd year volunteering with the festival. This year he volunteered on our Operations Crew for Petalpalooza and down at the West-End for Parade.  Friendly and helpful Dee has recruited his friends to work alongside him too!

Daryl Levine

Daryl Levine

Daryl is a familiar face having volunteered for several years.  This year he helped us in Operations for Blossom Kite Festival and Petalpalooza. One of his fellow volunteers nominated Daryl for his help at Petalpalooza.  At Petalpalooza a sponsor dropped off the supplies to make custom T-shirts.  What wasn’t accounted for was the manpower to use an iron press to press on the designs on the front of the T-shirts.  Daryl jumped in working for hours until supplies ran out. His fellow volunteers said “Without Daryl’s help we would’ve had a very difficult time to run this activation.”

Jenny Nguyen

EECand Jenny with Otsuka

Nominated multiple times Jenny is a first year volunteer and she jumped right in agreeing to work several of our events.  She volunteered for Pink Tie Party, Opening Ceremony, Blossom Kite Festival, Petapalooza and Parade! One of her nominators wrote “I met Jenny at the Kite festival and immediately assumed she was a super volunteer and was only made aware that she was a first year volunteer the end of the Festival. Throughout the festival, she was vibrant, attentive and present and a true pleasure to work with. What struck me most about Jenny was her attention to detail and ability to anticipate needs. She actively checked in with the volunteers of the sponsor organization to ensure they were hydrated and comfortable, she was hyperaware of her surroundings and the safety of others and she did not hesitate to jump in, helping in anyway that she could.”

A consistent description about Jenny from others is her smile, helpfulness and her teamwork attitude.

Cherie Nichols

Gail Cherie

Cherie is a member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) but even outside of that she is always willing to lend a helping hand.  As a member of the Volunteer Engagement working group she keeps us all up to date via the Facebook Group posting events, reminders, information, etc.  This year she volunteered at Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza and Parade. Other volunteers describe her as enthusiastic and generous with her time and as someone that can be counted on.

Josh Strenger

Josh Strenger.jpeg

Josh is no stranger to the Festival having been a volunteer for many years.  Each year he takes on more responsibility.  This year in addition to his role as Operations Manager at Petalpalooza he volunteered at Pink Tie Party, Opening Ceremony, and was a Balloon Manager at Parade.  When asked to volunteer at these additional events he enthusiastically agreed.  His dedication is unmatched, and his can-do attitude greatly appreciated.

Kycia Spriggins


Kycia was nominated multiple times by volunteers, fellow EEC members and staff.  As a member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) Kycia has embraced her co-chair responsibilities. She volunteered for Opening Ceremony, Student Art Contest, Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza, various office tasks, Parade and her favorite Tidal Basin no less than 5 times! Her smiling face, thoughtful suggestions, willingness to jump in and do anything has been commented on by many.

In addition to volunteering Kycia brought her colleagues to the Tidal Basin- including her boss- as a team building activity. She said “I wanted to share something that was important to me and I thought it was a great way to get folks out of the office and just bond and enjoy nature”.

Ashley Walker

Ashley Walker 2

Nominated multiple times Ashley has dedicated several years of service to the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  As a member of the Event Execution Committee (EEC) her fellow colleagues have been impressed describing her as “prepared, engaged, and full of great ideas to enhance volunteer and guest experiences at the Festival.”  Ashley is probably familiar to many of you with her smiling face, framed by her signature headband Boppers.  Ashley volunteered this year at Sing Into Spring, Blossom Kite Festival and Parade.  One of the volunteers commented: “She saw the need for extra hands at my station and I did not have to even request her help, she was there!  We spent hours making cherry blossom candies with young children and she greeted and interacted with every child as if they were the very first.  We were also tasked with servicing the portable toilets, you guessed it, she had that same great attitude that you would hope to find in every volunteer.”  Fellow volunteers have mentioned “it’s a pleasure and fun to volunteer with her.”

We will announce our winner of the BEVY Awards at our Volunteer Appreciation Reception on Thursday, April 25, 2019.  Stay tuned!

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