2001 Volunteer of the Year

By Paul Hiers

There is a rule of thumb that states that in every organization or club, 80% of the work is done by 20% of its members. This means that this 20% group is doing about 3 times the work that they would do if the work were distributed evenly among all the members. We certainly ask a lot of our club board members, committee members, race directors, and especially our volunteers.

By serving on the awards committee this past year, I saw first hand how difficult a task it is to select one individual from among so many worthy nominees. The race director of the year and volunteer of the year received the most nominees. In selecting this year’s winners we voted to narrow the field, debated the merits of those remaining, voted again, debated again, and so on, until at last we arrived upon the person that stood out from the others.

Our discussions about the nominees brought forth such accolades as dedicated, caring, unselfish, reliable, enthusiastic, dependable, encouraging, knowledgeable, take charge, helpful, respectful, giving (money and time), and on and on. This year’s winner is deserving of all these accolades, but there is one attribute that stands out above the rest; and that is her caring.

As evidenced by the many times this person volunteered to hand out water, control traffic, work registration, sit on the Springtime committee, etc; it is always so evident that her motivation is that of caring. She deeply cares about this club, its members, and all of our many events. She goes about her many acts of giving in a quiet, unassuming manner so that they almost go unnoticed. Almost.

For several years, this person was responsible for the Springtime post race goodies. A task no one else was eager to undertake, she always went beyond was needed to make sure the participants were taken care of. She is always concerned that the back of the pack runners would not have equal opportunity for food and drink. Then on Springtime race day she would assist with parking, set up and organize, work the food table, and be there long after everyone has left doing clean-up.

In 1997 I asked this person if she would be willing to co-direct the 10 Mile Challenge for that year – hoping she would take the race over. She excitedly collected my old race documents and went about planning for that year’s race. I remember the phone calls that week before the 1997 race and how nervous she was. Nervous, not that she would mess up, but that the runners might be disappointed in some way. She is now a seasoned veteran of five 10 Mile Challenges and does a wonderful job taking care of her participants.

At many of the clubs events this person will just show, seek out who ever is in charge, and offer her services. No task too big or too small – always glad to be of assistance. So many times I was very happy to see her show up to help with Tom Brown, Under the Oaks, and Music Mania. Many other race directors can attest to this also.

We ask a lot of our volunteers. I am very pleased to recognize one of these caring individuals. This year’s volunteer of the year is Dawn Brown.