By: Caitlin Doran
As you, reader, are hopefully aware, we are in full volunteer recruitment mode for our upcoming Lake Hopatcong Block Party, and we are still in need of more hands! Volunteering for the Lake Hopatcong Block Party is a rewarding experience, no matter what job you’re assigned. But don’t take our word for it - ask a volunteer! We recently “sat down” with Les Cirelli, a dedicated Block Party volunteer, to hear his perspective on what it’s like to support the Lake Hopatcong Foundation’s biggest community event.
How did you first get involved with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation?
I was asked by Lee. He “made me an offer I couldn't refuse!”
For those who do not yet know Lee Moreau, he is the linchpin of our event planning team. The Block Party is his tour de force! When Lee is not helping plan the annual BP, you can find him captaining The Miss lotta and planning Lotta-based events, like “Live From the Lake.”
Which year was your first as a Block Party volunteer, and what do you remember about that first Block Party?
My first year was in 2018. This year will be my third since Covid stopped us from partying in 2020.
Main Street was my assignment. We were singing, dancing, and having a great time – and that was at 2 pm or 3 pm, after being there from 6 am! It goes to show you what energy the day brings!
Main Street refers to the “main drag” through the parking lot at Hopatcong State Park. Volunteers working Main Street make sure everyone knows where they’re supposed to park and where to go next.
Who convinced you to become a Volunteer-in-Charge?
Like I said, Lee asked. I was looking to put in some volunteer time somewhere. It was perfect timing. And if you know Lee, you know he's all about doing the right thing. So, it was an easy yes. Plus, my wife said she wouldn't cook for me unless I did! Lol!
What do you do when you're not volunteering, and do those skills tie into your volunteerism in any way?
I own Progressive Realty Group in Succasunna, selling residential & commercial real estate. I deal with people all day. I really do like working with people (75% of them I love) lol!
What’s your message to those thinking about volunteering at this year's Block Party?
The bottom line is you are helping your community! Whether it's Hopatcong, Jefferson, Mt Arlington, or Roxbury – and let's not forget Lake Hopatcong itself. You are doing the right thing and bringing attention to our area and Lake Hopatcong!
And the day - it's a blast! We have such a great time! The volunteers are such a great group. It’s so cool running into them throughout the year and talking about the party - Block Party that is! Main Street, which is my assignment, has been known to do a little singing & dancing in the street!
If you’re interested in joining Les and the rest on October 2, we’re certainly interested in having you! Just click the link to our Block Park Volunteer Signup, select a timeframe you are available, and we’ll be in touch with further instructions!
Sign up to volunteer!
Photo: Beverly and Les Cirelli