A Q&A with Volunteer Ashley NeQuent
Why do you feel that View is important to our community?
To me, View is a space meant for the community. Its purpose is to bring people together to be creative, learn a new skill or enjoy the beauty of another’s skill. I have met many neighbors and friends within the walls of View that I might not have found had I not participated in activities here. I wouldn’t call myself an artistic person, so a place like View had been intimidating to me in the past. With my involvement at View, I have learned to take the opportunity to make a connection with individuals outside of my everyday life. It has expanded my view of our community, and I hope that we will be able to reach many more friends soon!
What inspired you to become a committee member of View?
I suppose volunteering is part of my DNA. My family and I moved to Old Forge when I was 11, and immediately immersed ourselves in the community’s activities. In the almost 20 years my parents have lived here, they have participated in countless organizations. My father has been part of the Eagle Bay Fire Department for over 15 years and has captained a rescue for just as long. He has been a volunteer EMT for Inlet for over 10 years, and has taken over 260 trips to area hospitals, caring for our neighbors and visitors on their worst days - entirely voluntarily. My mother has been an active participant in the Central Adirondack Association, chairing many successful events that bring guests to our area at all times of the year. She has been involved with CAP-21 (now Living ADK) for many years, encouraging people like us that yes, you can live here year round and thrive in this community. Most recently, in 2021, my mother was asked to participate on the Board of Directors for View and Chair the Events Committee.
My husband and I lived in a small town in North Carolina when we met. We both loved the small community and really wanted to be more involved in it, however we were both immersed in our careers and plainly did not have the energy for extracurriculars.
When we decided to move to Old Forge permanently in 2020, we made it clear that being part of our community was one of our top priorities, so when I was asked to participate in the Events Steering Committee and Co-Chair our Artisan Craft Fair, I jumped at the opportunity. The efforts we put into volunteering fill our hearts and give back to the memories and friends we make.
Do you have any special or memorable stories about your experience at View that you’d like to share?
Ah, this is a great question! Last year I really became immersed with events at View. I distinctly remember spending quite a few months discussing how we would handle our events during the middle of the pandemic. We took extra consideration for our July 4th Craft Fair, considering the number of guests coming to town to enjoy the festivities. The weekend came, and we were prepared! Our vendors, guests and volunteers could not have been better! The weather turned out to be perfect for the weekend, and we estimate that 6,000 guests came through the craft fair! My only fault – I forgot to buy extra toilet paper for the porta potties! I ended up walking up to the hardware store to get what we needed, no one went without!
What do you see as the future for View in the next 5 years? Is there something we are doing now that excites you as having significance or potential in the future?
A lot can change in 5 years, and I think we all really saw that even in the past 2 years. Through the pandemic, we learned of new ways to reach out and give back to our community and members, mostly through remote opportunities. I think we will give the time and space to learn about new ways of connecting, as new technology and ways of thinking can really open doors to people! I’d also love to see us go back to some “old” traditions that really made my childhood special when we would visit the arts center. I think our teams have a lot of great ideas cooking for the next 5 years! So, if you see me in town, say hello, let’s have a coffee and talk about all the good things that are coming to View!