Once again the Paducah Ambassadors are out and about.
If you know anything about Paducah and the way this town welcomes its visitors, then you are well acquainted with these wonderful volunteers who give their time, energy and knowledge back to their community. They have been going strong for some time now, and this year marks the 25th anniversary since their beginning.
In 1988, former Paducah Mayor Gerry Montgomery simply asked people to help during a large convention in which the city was having; volunteers stepped up to the plate, and the rest is history. On speaking with the group this past week they commented, “Today we are down here (Paducah Riverfront) to greet the passengers of the Queen of the Mississippi as they disembark. We welcome them, give them literature, and let them know what’s available here in town.” The Ambassadors say they will be welcoming boats to the Port of Paducah up in to the month of November.
The Paducah Ambassadors are sponsored by the city, totaling 135 volunteers in all, and have recently inducted 5 new members. They are a positive presence in the community and can be seen at grand openings, ribbon cuttings, giving tours of the floodwall murals and other Paducah attractions, giving directions, answering questions at the downtown gazebo on Saturdays, welcoming visitors and locals to events - just about any special event around town.
James Scott says, “Sometimes we’re called the ‘Red Coats’ because on formal occasions we put on our red blazers with a white shirt and tie and get ‘fancied up’. It’s better than sitting at home all day watching TV.”
Charles Allen, past president of The Paducah Ambassadors says, “We have volunteered over 5,000 hours so far this year. The main thing about being a volunteer, is that you must volunteer 20 hours a year, which is not a lot, and conduct yourself in a way that upholds the great reputation of the City of Paducah. We try to represent the city in the most positive way."
If you are a local to this area, take some time and thank a Paducah Ambassador for their service. Get to know them. Most of them have lived and worked here for the better part of their lives, have retired here. Ask them a question regarding something you may be unfamiliar with concerning Paducah’s history. Chances are, you will get more than you bargained for, and the answer will enrich your knowledge. These “Red Coats” have been around the block a time or two, literally.