LIMA — When it comes to volunteers, nonprofits are a little like the mob; once you get in, they're unlikely to let you leave.Mark Miller was pulled into the ArtSpace/Lima family almost 10 years ago. A friend had been helping out at the weekly summer Rally in the Square and said they needed someone to work the entrance “just that night.” That was about 100 nights ago.“I went down to help the first night, then a couple weeks later they asked if I could come back again. Then they asked if I'd be willing to help out selling tokens. One thing led to another and, well, here we are 10 years later,” Miller said.A postal worker by day, Miller shows up every summer Friday afternoon to sell drink tickets. He will be back at his post Friday, when the Rally kicks off in front of ArtSpace.Miller has become a familiar face at the weekly fundraiser. And he's become familiar with the regulars as well.“I grew up here, so I sort of know everybody anyway, but I remember faces and can tell you the regulars. If it's a pretty girl, I remember her more,” Miller said.Miller's volunteer efforts don't end at the Rally. He has helped out with other ArtSpace events, including Jazz at the Greenhouse and the annual Buffet at the Beach party. He can also be seen pouring wine at Toast to the City, the annual opener for Square Fair.People such as Miller, whom you can count on to show up every week, are gold to nonprofits dependent on volunteer labor, said ArtSpace Associate Manager Kay VanMeter. “Mark is truly an asset to this organization. ArtSpace/Lima is very grateful for the many dedicated volunteers who help on Friday nights,” VanMeter said.For his part, that appreciation is enough to keep Miller coming back for another 10 years.“It's nice coming to someplace where you are appreciated and wanted. That's my reward,” Miller said. “I come here every Friday night and they're happy to see me here. As long as they're happy to see me, I'll keep coming back.”
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.