Among our excellent volunteers are Don and Betty Perry who have been volunteering for Folkmoot since 1990. They first became interested in volunteering at Folkmoot after hearing Betty’s son, David Thomason, tell about his experiences as a Folkmoot Guide while he was a student at Western Carolina University from 1985-1991.During this time, Betty was working at Waynesville Junior High which also happened to be the place where the festival was being hosted. She helped out in any way she could and decided she wanted to become more involved.
The couple started volunteering in souvenir sales and then began ushering for the next twenty-five years at various Folkmoot events. Shortly after that Chuck Dickson asked them to help with ushering and they have been Head Ushers for Folkmoot for the past twenty-five years. Don and Betty also volunteered at the HART Theatre in Waynesville as usher coordinators up until this year.
Don and Betty have many fond memories during their many years being a part of the Folkmoot community. The Candlelight Closing is their all time favorite event and of the international groups they have watched perform, the groups from New Zealand and France were the ones they enjoyed the most. Betty Perry became friends with a group from Russia that had performed at Folkmoot in 1988 and took a trip with Tuscola students to visit them the next year.
Don believes Folkmoot is important in the lives of young adults within the community because “It teaches them about embracing different cultures and to put aside political differences and form friendships on a global level.”
The couple met at Waynesville Junior High when Don was the school psychologist and Betty was working in the office. They were married in 1996. Together they have made a huge impact on our community and Folkmoot is glad to have these two great volunteers.