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Connecting to Beaufort in a big way

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Get to know a loyal volunteer with the Beaufort Water Festival 

Frank Mueller lived in Beaufort for 10 years before first volunteering with the Beaufort Water Festival, but he hasn’t missed a year since then. And his volunteering doesn’t stop with The Water Festival. You can find Frank working as a volunteer or in a professional capacity as an employee of the city of Beaufort at just about every festival held in Beaufort.

“I love this town,” he says, “and I will do what I can to help make our local events successful.”

Frank’s route to the Lowcountry started in Germany, where he was born. He was raised in Dayton, Ohio, but actually moved across the country from Orange County, California, to Beaufort in 1990. That was also the year he started working for the city’s Public Works Department.

Introduced to The Water Festival in 1988 as a tourist, Frank’s next exposure was as a volunteer with the Beaufort Sail & Power Squadron. He built a booth for them that was used during the festival to promote boating safety. Now he provides electrical expertise at the Waterfront Park, making sure things like lighting and entertainment and vendor electrical needs are handled.

A Technical College of the Lowcountry alum, Frank completed certificates in heating & air and electrical in the mid 1990s. He also speaks fluent German.

But if you want to see Frank light up, ask him about volunteering at The Water Festival.

“The Water Festival family, volunteers and sponsors make the festival a success,” he says. “They are a special group and I am proud to call them friends. I enjoy giving back to the community and all the hard work is worth it to see everyone enjoying themselves and enjoying our city.”

Quick to admit he and his wife, Robin, were naïve tourists, Frank has come a long way since his first visit to Beaufort and The Water Festival.

“I never thought I would be part of putting on the festival years later. At the time, we didn’t know how to peel the shrimp at a Lowcountry supper and we thought The Whistlers were corny. Now I know The Whistlers personally.”

Frank and Robin have a dog named Shadow who, says Frank, thinks she’s their baby, and Frank enjoys darts, cornhole, billiards and the occasional game of golf. As for his plans for the immediate future, it’s all about The Water Festival.

“I expect to put in a lot of hard work this month and eventually collapse when it’s over,” he laughs.

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