Volunteer Barb Jacob has a starring role at theater

September 23, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • Barb Jacob is the volunteer coordinator for concessions.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff photographer

MAUGANSVILLE — While her role wasn't on stage under the bright lights, it was as an equally important gig.

She became a volunteer at The Maryland Theatre.

"They do such a great job of bringing the arts to downtown Hagerstown, I wanted to help in any way I could," Jacob recalled.

Volunteerism comes naturally to the Maugansville resident, who also lends a hand at Western Maryland Hospital Center, where she is auxiliary president; Hagerstown Community College and AARP. She also is the president of the Council of Auxiliaries for all state hospitals in Maryland.

So, when she learned of the need for volunteers at The Maryland Theatre, she looked at it as another way to serve.

Her first assignment was checking coats, which was no easy task, Jacob said. "Just think of all the people who come through the doors for just one show."

But, one season later, she switched to another part of the theater — concessions, where she remains today and is the volunteer coordinator.

Jacob said she has about a dozen volunteers who work in concessions — "not a lot with the number of shows we have."

"Of course, I have the faithful ones who are always there for me," she said. "And I'm always on the lookout for new recruits. If someone comes to a show and asks how they can get involved, I take their name and number."

Jacob said she enjoys her volunteer work at The Maryland Theatre, which comes with a few perks, including the opportunity to meet people who might otherwise have never crossed her path.

"I've met the most interesting people from all over, not just Hagerstown," she said. "Many people travel here from outside of the area who are long-time fans of the MSO. They enjoy the music and they enjoy the theater. It's such an historical building, people ask questions and comment on its beauty."

Jacob said she always has been a person who wants to reach out to lend a helping hand to others in her community.

"I guess I got the giving gene from my parents," she said.

Her late father, Samuel McCauley, was a volunteer with Meals on Wheels and her mother, Florence McCauley of Williamsport, who will be 97 in January, volunteered at her church.

"I've got to give them credit," she said.

Jacob said she worked years ago at E.J. Fennel in Hagerstown, where she was a payroll clerk until the company closed in 1986.  She also worked with Manpower and in the offices of Sears.

Following her husband's death in 1996, Jacob said she began volunteering.

"I feel we're place on this earth for a reason," she said. "So many people need help — and I'm not a person who can say 'no.' If I can help in any way, I'm willing to do it."

By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Barb Jacob volunteers at The Maryland Theatre and coordinates all theater volunteers.

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