©Philip Gould Griff Blakewood IMG_0447

Festival International honors late UL Professor for Volunteer of the Year Award

Lafayette, LA – Festival International de Louisiane is proud to present this year’s David Lofton Volunteer of the Year Award to the late Griff Blakewood. Blakewood has given at least 10 years of service to Festival within the production department. He greatly contributed to the coordination of the volunteers for the r©Philip Gould Griff Blakewood IMG_0447ecycling/sanitation area.

“He LOVED Festival International so much,” says Alice Blakewood, Griff’s wife. “Years ago, Griff came home so excited to tell me that he’d discovered that there was this great little music festival going on downtown. ‘There’s dancing in the STREETS!’ Griff declared. He was in love…and the rest, as they say, is history,” says Mrs. Blakewood. “It became our family’s “in-house” vacation. He boasted about it to everyone, inviting people from far and wide to come experience the best festival in the South.”

Blakewood was a very loyal participant within the Festival International community; he would not only volunteer himself, but would also bring many of his students with him to help set up all recycling and waste receptacles for Festival. Blakewood lived and breathed Festival; even in his off hours he would find time to help empty the recycling and waste containers. His character and personality can be witnessed in a Festival International video from 2009.

Blakewood was an advocate for sustainability and was the main inspiration behind the new Geaux Green campaign, which promotes sustainability efforts such as taking alternative transportation to the grounds, walking, biking, recycling, and reusing. Griff Blakewood was a delight to be around and well known throughout the community; many knew of Blakewood for his “festival hat”, a straw hat with a large colorful feather.

Unfortunately, the community lost a great person on May 26, 2014 when Griff Blakewood passed away. Festival International is grateful for his many years of service and is lucky to have known such an inspiring individual. “My family and I would be honored to receive the David Lofton Volunteer of the Year Award on stage at opening ceremonies,” says Mrs. Blakewood.

The David Lofton Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to the Blakewood family during the Opening Ceremonies, presented by Coca-Cola, Thursday, April 23rd.

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