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Meet a Jacksonville resident volunteering at One Spark Berlin

posted Sep 15, 2014, 12:24 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Sep 15, 2014, 12:25 AM ]
One Spark, known as “The world’s crowdfunding festival” is living up to its title with its expansion to its first international destination.

But that doesn't mean the event, which started in Jacksonville, has left behind its local roots. One volunteer has traveled all the way from Jacksonville to the German city to lend her help to the crowdfunding festival.

Jacksonville’s Gracie Simendinger has seen One Spark’s growth from the very beginning and has helped at both Jacksonville festivals since its inception. As a result of the success she witnessed and experiences in Jacksonville, she decided to make the trip to Berlin to continue her volunteering endeavors.

“It’s been good seeing this festival grow,” she said. “I think it’s really good for the community and helps bring people together.”

Back at home, Simendinger works for United Way and is accustomed to raising money through campaigns for a number of nonprofits and organizations. It’s no wonder she would be attracted to One Spark and crowdfunding.

“Volunteering is one of the most amazing things anyone can do. It involves people giving up their time for free and it can be a really enjoyable experience.”

At home in Jacksonville, Simendinger is also the chair of ImpactJAX, a Chamber of Commerce-associated group of young professions whose goal is to attract and retain other young business people in the community. She received her master’s degree from Jacksonville University.

Simendinger was also a financial supporter of One Spark in Berlin during the crowd-funding phase of its campaign. She decided to volunteer in Berlin along with her mother, Bonnie Simendinger of Denver. They admit that One Spark’s Berlin opening on Friday was exciting.

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