GODFREY - Want to help strengthen the River Bend community and celebrate diversity through the arts while ringing in the New Year? Individuals, couples and entire families of all ages are needed to serve as volunteers during First Night River Bend at Lewis and Clark Community College.

First Night River Bend is an alcohol-free, family-oriented New Year's Eve celebration of the arts, featuring live music, singers, dancers, jugglers, magicians and shows for people of all ages.

For 18 years, First Night has consistently brought together a lineup of amazing talent and entertaining activities to commemorate New Year's Eve. Each year, more than 120 volunteers are needed to perform a variety of tasks. Volunteers assist with all phases of the event including site management, venue assistance, headquarters assistance, artist assistance, button/merchandise sales and clean up.

Volunteers may sign up for one or two shifts, typically two hours each, or work all evening. Each volunteer receives a complimentary admission button and free access to the hospitality rooms.

"Volunteering for First Night is a great way to support the community by giving a few hours at a family-friendly event that is an alcohol-free alternative to other New Year's Eve traditions," said First Night River Bend Volunteer Coordinator Melissa Batchelor. "In addition, volunteers have the opportunity to partake in the venue activities and enjoy the festive spirit of the evening. It really is a fun time for all those involved."

Volunteers are required to complete a background check and attend one training session, which will be held prior to the event, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27 in the Hatheway Cultural Center, located on the Godfrey campus of Lewis and Clark Community College.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Batchelor at (618) 468-4679 or via email mbatchel@lc.edu. Volunteer forms are also available online at www.lc.edu/firstnight.

First Night River Bend 2013 is a community project of Lewis and Clark Community College. The event is presented by Lewis and Clark Community College and the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation. Major sponsors include The Telegraph, The Village of Godfrey and WBGZ 1570 AM.

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