By Jeff Finazzo

Fifteen years ago, I walked through the flaps of the Circus Flora Big Top to volunteer for the first time. I had enjoyed the circus in the past and wanted to give something back. I also thought that this would be the best way to “run off and join the circus” and fulfill the childhood dream that every kid feels at some point in their life.

What I didn’t expect was the sheer joy I would have volunteering – and the start of a tradition that continues to this day. We all look forward to seeing our “Circus Friends” every year. The yearly Volunteer Dinner feels like a family reunion. I have made many wonderful friends among the other volunteers who are now a part of my everyday life.

While you are volunteering at Circus Flora, you will be interacting with a lot of people. You’ll greet them as they enter the tent. You’ll help them find their seats in the sometimes-confusing circular layout. You’ll remind them to watch their step as they’re looking up at the beautiful blue tent and elaborate rigging. You’ll answer their questions and help them however you can. You’ll do all this with a smile on your face.

Here’s the secret that makes the job so easy: People who visit the circus are already happy to be there.

They won’t just thank you for helping them find their seat; they’ll tell you about the last time they visited. They’ll tell you what their favorite part of the circus is. The kids will tell you about cotton candy, which is a very important subject. They will make you feel appreciated and you will leave with a smile.