Q&A with Arlene Shimkat & June Schnapp

This past October, Ruth Eckerd Hall celebrated its 40th anniversary in Clearwater! Over the decades, Ruth Eckerd Hall has welcomed hundreds of volunteers from the Tampa Bay region to join our mission in changing lives through the performing arts.


The volunteer tradition continues as over 160 volunteers joined the Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience for the 2023-2024 anniversary season! Among those volunteers, two have been with Ruth Eckerd Hall since the very beginning.

Get to know Arelene Shimkat and June Schnapp!

Question: How did you decide Ruth Eckerd Hall was where you wanted to volunteer?

Answer (June): I got here by mistake; I think that my friend signed me up. She said, “Well, next Tuesday we're going here.” And I said, “Why?” She said, “Because I signed you up. We're going to be volunteers.”


Question: What has been your favorite show?

Answer (June): I really couldn't say, because all of them...I'm so grateful to see them. Dolly Parton, she put on a great show.

Answer (Arlene): To see the Moscow Ballet do Swan Lake, I’ve seen it two or three times. You don't get that opportunity anywhere else. It's fabulous. Most people are very gracious at all times. They're happy to be here. It's a happy occasion. They've either saved up for it, or they have their whole family with them. It's very joyous and they're grateful for every time you tell them where the restroom is, you know, they're grateful.

Question: What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering?

Answer (Arlene): If there was someone on the fence about volunteering, I would tell them about my experience last year. I brought two ushers to train for the year and at the end of the season, what they said to me was that it added a whole new dimension to their life.

Answer (June): Ruth Eckerd Hall brought the community, I believe, together and culture. I've got so many lovely memories and a lot of it is meeting friends. All my friends are from Ruth Eckerd. I feel like I contributed to the community, but the community gave a lot back to me.


Ruth Eckerd Hall, along with the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre and the Murrary Theatre, depends on people like Arlene and June who have a love for the arts and want to give back to their community. The volunteers provide top-notch service to patrons to help better the overall fan experience.

Want to be part of the Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience and join this amazing group of volunteers? Get the details today by visiting the volunteer page here and for a closer look at the volunteer experience, check out Arlene and June’s interview below!