ap – pre – ci – a – tion

April 26, 2006 | 826 Blog Post

  1. Recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people.
  2. A judgment or opinion, especially a favorable one.
  3. An expression of gratitude.

Any way you cut it, appreciation is a great thing. Strangely, it’s one
of those few emotions that feels just as good to give as it does to
get. Perhaps it’s this peculiar double-edged nature of appreciation
which made last night so spectacular, with the volunteers being
appreciated and the staff doing the appreciating both enjoying a
magnificent night. Or, you know, maybe it was just because hanging out
with such truly wonderful and outstanding people just tends to leave
everybody feeling incredible.

Last night was another one of 826michigan’s volunteer appreciation
events. This time, we rendezvoused at one of Ann Arbor most
distinguished and esteemed establishments: Colonial Lanes bowling
alley. Yes, friends, a veritable throng of volunteers (a throng
can be, like, fifteen, right?) came out for bowling, food, and friends
in a night dedicated to making these dedicated tutors, workshops
leaders, and all-around ridiculously awesome people feel special
(quite precisely, because they are!). There were bowling duels,
lane vs. lane death matches, and amazing displays of skill in all
areas of this dignified sport.

But what’s that you say? Bowling and food and friends aren’t enough
for such great, great volunteers? Well then read on, my inimical
internet inquisitor! For after endless frames of anarchic bowling
(what can we say…we just aren’t very competitive), volunteers gathered
around for one last spasm of appreciation: a raffle! Yes, before the
night was over, lucky volunteers walked away with movie passes, comedy
theater tickets, and (gasp!) certificates for more free bowling! In
addition, everyone walked away with all kinds of goodies entitling
them to free ice cream and coffee around Ann Arbor. Yum!

In closing, I’d like to show you something. Observe, a little tidbit
from the seemingly ancient days of yore:

Our first volunteer appreciation event, “Challenge Night,” was a
huge success. If you don’t count the fact that only one volunteer
showed up, that is.

There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. Having been
spoon-fed by Amy and John on stories of that night when they got
together to appreciate one volunteer, last night doubly
enjoyable for me. Not only did I get to express love and gratitude for
everyone who makes this place possible, but I also found myself
constantly overwhelmed with happiness when I thought of how much our
quaint little home has grown. And who knows, maybe by this time next
year, another rambling blog will conclude by looking back at this
night of bowling, and commenting on how small it was. I can only hope.


Interns Ryan and Luke square off in a bowling duel. Or, judging by Ryan’s jazz hand, perhaps they’re about to break into song. Is there a musical yet about bowling?

Another way we like to appreciate our volunteers: literally showering them with money. Alternate title: C. Jason makes friends.


Emma, John, Becca, a surprisingly demure looking Luke, and Tony worship John’s sweet ball.

The finalists in the Most Lovely Volunteer Competition: Megan, Sarah, and Michelle.


Further proof that this volunteer night was, numerically, way more successful than the last two.


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