Long time Festival Volunteer and current Head of the Green Room, Elizabeth Foley , was awarded the first-ever Wexford Festival Opera / Zurich Volunteers Award - for Outstanding Leadership and Development by Conor Brennan, Director of Broker Distribution at Zurich at a ceremony in Wexford Opera House on Thursday evening, prior to the volunteers going on duty for the evening’s opera.
Chairman of Wexford Festival Trust, Peter Scallan paid tribute to Elizabeth. “She has been a volunteer from the very early days of the festival, growing up within a stone’s throw of the old Theatre Royal. As a young girl, Liz volunteered with her mother initially. In turn, Elizabeth came to involve her daughters and indeed her grandchildren. As head of one of the twelve volunteer departments at Wexford Festival, she has consistently developed her team bringing new people in and enthusing all around her with her dedication and sense of hospitality. She has always been a champion of Wexford Festival Opera and of the whole experience of volunteering. The award is being made to Elizabeth in recognition of her exemplary dedication, hard work, enthusiasm and generosity, which symbolise all our volunteers.”
Wexford Festival Opera was born of the foresight and enthusiasm of a small local voluntary group and is now a renowned international event. The award serves to recognise the significant contribution and leadership of Wexford Opera Volunteers.
2011 celebrates both the 60th anniversary of the Festival and of the volunteers who founded it. It is also the first year of this annual award sponsored by Zurich, who are also the official production sponsor of this year’s opening Opera, ‘La Cour de Célimène’. Peter Scallan further commented, “Zurich’s additional support of the Volunteers Award enables us to recognise our volunteers in a new and exciting way.”
The ceremony, attended by many of Elizabeth’s fellow volunteers, was also attended by Kevin Murphy, Chief Executive of Voluntary Arts Ireland, in acknowledgment of the 300+ Volunteer Corps of Wexford Festival Opera. http://www.vaireland.org