By Janet Cabot

The Madison Symphony Orchestra League (MSOL) is one of six volunteer organizations chosen by The Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras to receive the coveted Gold Award of Excellence for its monthly digital e-News created to share information and engage members on a regular and timely basis.

The Volunteer Council’s annual award program recognizes outstanding projects done by volunteer associations from around the country that help ensure the success of their orchestras. The Gold Award of Excellence recognizes best-in-class projects that have had a significant impact. This is the 43rd year of the award, which was originally called the Gold Book as the winning projects were compiled in an actual book. Winning projects were selected by Council members based upon originality, volunteer involvement, adaptability by other volunteer organizations, and the overall success of the project in meeting its stated goals.

“We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts to connect with members,” said Susan D. Lee, MSOL VP – Membership and the e-News editor. “While the Symphony’s three-times yearly SCORE Newsletter included MSOL news, our members needed to hear from us more frequently about our upcoming events, volunteer needs and news. The monthly e-News with its immediate “news” format, photos and digital links was the ideal solution.”

The MSOL also is one of eight volunteer organizations to win a Spotlight Award for its first Volunteer Appreciation Party. Spotlight Awards are given for projects that have contributed to the success of an overall initiative or for a noteworthy tactic or activity. The invitation-only party was held as another way to ensure MSOL volunteers felt recognized for their efforts. “We decided what better way to underscore the importance of our volunteers than by celebrating them and asking nothing in return but the pleasure of their company,” said Beth Rahko, MSOL President.

The MSOL will receive both awards at the League’s National Conference in Minneapolis, June 10-12, 2020. During a session for fellow volunteers at Conference a MSOL representative will do a presentation on the e-News project and in a separate session will share details about the Volunteer Appreciation Party.

“The League’s Volunteer Council knows firsthand the rewards and challenges of planning and executing volunteer projects. Our goal is to inspire and educate volunteers by acknowledging and sharing the best, most innovative volunteer-driven projects from across the country in categories including: Audience Development/Community Engagement, Communication/Technology, Education, Leadership/Organizational Structure, Membership, Fundraising, and Service Projects,” said Terry Ann White, president of the Volunteer Council and a member of the Amarillo Symphony Guild.