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Tibbits November Volunteer of the Month: Gail Russell

For her willingness to adapt to all the changes of 2020, Tibbits has named Gail Russell as its November volunteer of the month.

For the past six years, Gail Russell has rolled up her sleeves and helped with weeding and planting flower beds, preparing bulk mailings, folding programs, ushering, house managing, tending bar, and helping with the auction. She served on the former Tibbits Booster Board, and this year she served as an auction committee member helping with many facets of the event.

Volunteer Coordinator Tirsha Odisher said, “Gail showed flexibility and tenacity this year. She kept up with all of the auction’s format changes as well as the changes we had to make due to Covid. She’s willing to help when we need her and gracious when our plans had to change. She helped us stay on track to a very successful auction.”

Born and raised in Coldwater, Russell was in the theatre often. She did props for school plays and watched her brother on stage. While she did live in Texas and Oregon for a short time, she returned to Coldwater. Russell has three grown sons, Shane, Shad, and Chris, all of whom have performed on stage. She also has four grandkids and four great grandkids.

Russell said, “Of course I love seeing all the shows, but also listening to people that are there for the first time talk about how exciting it is for them.” She continued, “The take-away from being a volunteer is just that great feeling of volunteering your time to help. Everyone needs to volunteer for something.”

The Volunteer of the Month is chosen by Tibbits staff. Selection is based on the hours and/or service, as well as leadership, special skills or expertise shared. Criteria may be project specific or general support and volunteerism. In recognition of this award, Russell received a $25 Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce Debit Card.

Tibbits is always looking for more volunteers in a variety of areas: ushering, working the gift shop or concessions area, doing general office help, sorting archival materials, planting flowers, decorating the theatre, and much more. Those interested in volunteering should contact Tirsha Odisher at Tibbits at 517-278-6029 or boxoffice@Tibbits.org. Tibbits Opera House is located at 14 S. Hanchett Street, Coldwater, MI. www.Tibbits.org.