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Jazz Holiday group needs volunteers

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is set, the performers signed and ready. But there aren't enough volunteers to run the show.

"We have over 800 shifts to fill," said Jane Olds, the president of Jazz Force, the organization that runs the event. "We could do it with 400 bodies if they all worked two shifts."

Unfortunately, too few volunteers sign on for more than a few hours, so Olds is getting increasingly nervous as the event, set for Oct. 14-17 at Coachman Park, draws near.

Not sure you have the needed skills?

No problem.

"We just need warm bodies," she said.

While the most popular jobs are beer and wine pouring, there are lots of other positions to choose from. Workers can distribute bottled water, sell tickets, check IDs, staff the gate, take surveys, help with parking or work in the merchandise tent.

If you have carpentry, electrical, plumbing or handyman skills you could help break down the event.

Harder to fill are gatekeeper and parking attendant positions "because they are remote jobs," Olds said.

Volunteers get to pick what they want to do, Olds said. Shifts vary from two to four hours.

Ideally, Olds is hoping to find people who will commit to working at least two days.

She blames the recent storms for the lack of volunteers this year. People have been wary of committing to a future activity, she said.

Those who do sign up will not only enjoy the music of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Branford Marsalis and the Neville Brothers, but get some nice perks.

"We have a party at Stein Mart when the Holiday is over," she said. "They get 25 percent off (merchandise). That was popular last year."

Volunteers also receive a 2004 commemorative pin and their choice of posters. They also get free Italian food either before or after their shift.

You can sign up online at www.clearwaterjazz.com and click on "volunteers" or call the Jazz Holiday office at (727) 461-5200.

Even walkups are welcome each day of the festival.

"We'll find them a job," Olds said.

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