WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — After spending decades with the organization, two long-time employees of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival have announced their retirement.
Donna Saville and John Rosenberger, who served as the office manager and the executive director respectively, are both leaving the organization this fall.
Saville, who has been with the festival for 38 years, will retire on October 15, while Rosenberger will leave on September 21, his 70th birthday. He began his involvement with the organization as a child, but formally served as Executive Director for 21 years.
Saville says she’s ready to join her husband Bruce in retirement, but expects to keep volunteering within the community, whether through her church or through the Festival.
“It means a lot,” she said. “And I see the impact on the community, the volunteers. Were it not for the volunteers, I would have not stayed.”
Rosenberger too hopes to stay connected by volunteering, adding that now that he won’t be running the whole operation, there will be more time to help with his passions, such as building the parade floats.
“In the spring time, we’re working almost 100 hours a week,” he said, adding that at nearly 70, it’s harder on him than when he started the job at 49. “At 70 I just thought, you know, it’s probably time to let somebody younger do this.”
Rosenberger says he’s excited for the future of the festival and hopes to be able to march in the parade for the 100th anniversary.