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Volunteers important to Sam Shortline… Sign up TODAY

By BECKY CRISSMAN
becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

9-5 Shortline volunteersCORDELE — A major tourist attraction for the community is the Sam Shortline Excursion Train.
With so many people visiting the area to ride the train there is always a need for good, dedicated volunteers to ensure each run is a success.
“Volunteers are extremely important to Sam Shortline,” said Volunteer Coordinator Julie Carr. “They wear many hats; just a few of those are greeters, conductors, and interpreters who talk to the passengers about the area and history as they travel.”
Riders of the train get to take a ride through the countryside to Georgia Veterans State Park, Leslie, Archery, Americus and of course historic Plains, the home of former President Jimmy Carter.
Throughout the year Sam Shortline holds a number of special rides including a romantic Valentine’s excursion for couples.
Each year one of the main events that employees and volunteers with Sam Shortline look forward to is the increasingly famous “Day Out With Thomas.”
The famous tank engine from the popular kids book/movie series “Thomas and Friends” rolls in live every year, generating about 15,000 visitors to Crisp County during his stay.
“The need for volunteers becomes even more crucial during the Thomas weekends,” said Carr. “Volunteers assist with parking, and trolley boarding and trolley driving, they also serve as greeters, gift shop workers, train hosts and for those who have been trained, conductors.”
Carr said that currently the Sam Shortline has a wonderful group of volunteers and they really go above and beyond at every event, especially Thomas.
“We are always looking to increase that number even more.”
Carr said it is important for visitors to the area to see that the community supports the train and other activities in the area and that we should be right there ready to show them what good old southern hospitality is all about.
“We invite all citizens, civic organizations, and community leaders to come and be a part of what is going on with Sam Shortline,” said Carr. “Our volunteers are the heart and soul of the community. They are what tourists see when they come into our community. We want them to see Cordele as a City of Progress. We want them to see our citizens all working together to better our community and support local attractions like the train.”
Carr said that anyone interested in signing up to volunteer should contact her at (229)276-0755.