The Tourism Cares for Historic Sacramento volunteers in front of the newly repainted Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum // © 2012 Tourism Cares
While we weren’t mining for gold, many volunteers at the recent Tourism Cares event in Sacramento, Calif., did find themselves with hoes and rakes in hand, digging for hours in the warm California sun. We were at the Old City Cemetery, cleaning up overgrown plots before the annual Halloween tours, when guides take children and adults alike around the historic graves, sharing the history and lore of Sacramento’s first citizens. More than 200 individuals volunteered, representing approximately 80 travel companies, including USTOA, Avanti Destinations, Collette Vacations and Visit California, as well as unaffiliated locals and students of tourism. Tourism Cares groups worked in areas that highlight the city’s historic Gold Rush past, such as Old Sacramento, the Old City Cemetery and Sutter’s Fort. Tasks ranged from painting the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum to grading the driveway area of Sutter’s Fort. In total, volunteers donated $32,000 in labor costs and 1,500 volunteer hours.
Tourism Cares for Historic Sacramento is the 11th annual project by the non-profit public charity, which brings together members of the tourism industry twice a year for a major destination restoration project. The 2013 programs are scheduled for May 31 at Coney Island and Jamaica Bay in New York City and Sept. 26 and 27 in Plymouth, Mass.