Volunteer Spotlight – Pat Dugan
Tell us briefly about your running experience.
I’ve been running for a little over 40 years. My fast days are long over but I continue to run/walk for fitness and the social aspects related to spending time with so many great people either training or at events.
Are you a member of GWTC? If so, for how long?
Yes, I am a member of GWTC and have been for most of my running career. I joined sometime in the early 80s.
How did you get involved with Turkey Trot and what were your duties? Did you run the race?
I started running the precursor to the Turkey Trot, the Chenoweth 15K, in the 80s. I quit running races for about 20 years but when I returned to the racing scene in 2010 I resumed running various distances each year at the TT. My usual volunteer activity for this event is to work packet pickup.
What other volunteer duties have you done recently?
My volunteer duties are usually limited to packet pickup for various races. I have helped on the course on a few occasions when I haven’t participated in a race.
Why do you volunteer?
I have more time availability to work packet pickup than most members so I feel it is an appropriate time contribution. I enjoy working packet pickup because of social interactions. I enjoy talking to the participants.
What is your next volunteer project?
Not sure. I can guarantee I’ll be working Turkey Trot packet pick up again this year if the Yons need
We also asked Mary Jean Yon to speak about a race director’s need for volunteers.
What are Pat’s duties for Turkey Trot?
Pat said it best…she is on our Packet Pickup team for Turkey Trot which is a very important job. Our goal every year is to get as many runners processed prior to race day so that everyone can arrive ready to run and not stand in long registration lines. To achieve that goal, we have packet pickup at the Turkey Trot Festival (on Sunday) and at Premier Health & Fitness on Monday-Wednesday the week of the race. Getting that race number and Turkey Trot t-shirt in hand before race day gets people fired up and Pat helps make that happen.
Friends of the Yons are prime targets for becoming a Turkey Trot volunteer and Pat graciously stepped forward and offered her services. We have a small army of approximately 60 volunteers specifically for handling registration and pack pickup and Pat has been part of that team for many years.
Comments on Pat’s performance?
When the email goes out every year checking in with the registration crew and asking “who’s in” for another year…Pat is always one of the first to respond. We tend to assign shifts for both the Turkey Trot Festival and Premier Health & Fitness events and what we love about Pat is she always seems to volunteer for more than one shift! And best of all, she does the job with a big smile and makes every runner feel good.
What are your thoughts on how to recruit volunteers?
Get the word out that volunteers are needed. Social media works beautifully for this but any opportunity to advertise for help, such as the race website, listservs, newsletters, etc. help as well. I am also a strong believer in the value of simply asking people directly which makes them feel needed as opposed to responding to a generic call for help. We are very fortunate with Turkey Trot in that people, like Pat, enjoy contributing their time to a good cause and make a habit out of it each year. Turkey Trot’s total volunteer base numbers around 200 and there is no doubt the race could not happen without them!