Republican National Convention puts out SOS call for volunteers

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW
  • Star Tribune
  • June 23, 2008 - 10:46 PM

Officials putting on the Republican National Convention are looking for a few thousand more good men and women to lend a helping hand during the convention in September.

Cindy Lesher, president of the host committee, along with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will held a news conference this morning at Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis at which they will sign a proclamation declaring this week as "Volunteer Sign Up Week." Cindy Lesher, president of the host committee, will announce a prize package for those who recruit the most volunteers.

About 6,000 people have registered to serve as greeters at the airport and to provide assistance and information at the 102 hotels where delegates, media and visitors will be staying during the convention, which runs Sept. 1-4 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Volunteers also have signed up to man booths and help at Civic Fest, a 300,000-square-foot exhibit that will be open to the public. It will feature replicas of the Oval Office, AirForce One, a presidential limousine along with Minnesota business innovations, said Teresa McFarland, a spokeswoman for the 2008 Republican National Convention.

But there is a need for more help, McFarland said, and party affiliation isn't a concern.

"This is not about being partisan; it's about putting our [Minnesota's] best foot forward," McFarland said. "It's been 116 years since we have had a convention here and this is a chance to be a part of history."

Volunteers need to fill out an application by July 15. Applications are available at They also will need to undergo a background check and attend training session scheduled for late July and August, McFarland said.

Priority will be given to those who have more availability, but McFarland said there are opportunities in the late afternoons and early evenings for those who want to help out but can't get off of work or school.



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