Volunteers needed to keep annual food booth tradition alive

The Diorama Food Booth was discussed during the last Hemingford Chamber of Commerce meeting. From left to right are Kathy Gettert, Blanche Randolph, Joni Jespersen, and Chelsie Herian.  

The Hemingford Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce a new coordinator of the Diorama Food Booth.

Blanche Randolph and the Randolph family have stepped in and volunteered to run the booth, which is held during the Box Butte County Fair and is the one and only fundraiser for the Christmas Diorama.

As most of you know, Blanche and Dave Randolph are the owners of Dave’s Pharmacy here in Hemingford. With the exception of Roger Christianson who took over the booth last year, Blanche will be taking the place of Lori Dannar, who spearheaded the Diorama Food Booth for the past 10 years before that.

Blanche has met with Lori and has been getting guidance from her throughout the organization and planning process.

“Lori has done a fantastic job and everything is so organized,” Randolph said. “It’s really easy to pick it up and just move on when everything is already in place. I am willing to take this on and keep this going. I think my biggest thing is that I will need volunteers to help out with not only the booth but providing the pies.”

In order for the Diorama Booth to see a profit they are in need of volunteers to fill shifts Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Fair week. This year they are asking the businesses of Hemingford to help the Chamber out on Friday, August 9th. They will need 18 volunteers for Friday, six per shift. The shifts would be 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 1 to 4 p.m., and 4 to 8:30 p.m.

For Thursday and Saturday’s booth shifts they are asking for non-profit groups to volunteer, church groups, and/or extra-curricular groups to volunteer their time.

If you, your business, or group are interested in volunteering please contact Joni Jespersen at 487-3345 or Kathy Gettert at 487-5578 to schedule your company’s volunteer time to help at the Diorama Food Booth.

With everyone’s help this will be a fun day and one that makes giving back to our community a very special contribution.

The Diorama itself needs repairs and attention from artists for repainting of the figures and backgrounds each year. The food booth is the means to pay for these needed upgrades and repairs.

Hemingford Chamber of Commerce Chairperson Kathy Gettert said the Chamber is excited that such a community-mind¬ed individual has stepped forward to take on the mission to continue the tradition of the Diorama Food Booth.

“Thank you also for the strong support the community has given this entity over the years. Hemingford’s Christmas Diorama is such a unique and beautiful icon of our community and we hope it will continue to be a focal point of Hemingford’s Christmas season far into the future,” Gettert said.

The Christmas Diorama has been a tradition in Hemingford for over 60 years. It started as a four-scene project in downtown Hemingford in 1955 and has grown to include 16 scenes which are displayed every Christmas on the west edge of Hemingford.

“I just feel like it’s such an important part of our community that I just wanted to help being able to help it continue to be part of our future,” Randolph added. “I just really want to see the Diorama continue for our children and grandchildren. It’s special to have these things and it’s so important not to lose them.”