- Published on Sunday, 14 April 2013 21:48
NORWALK, Ohio – Large events that fill the grandstands create Golden Anniversary opportunities for not-for-profit groups who need a quick way to earn a lot of cash.
Adult volunteers may serve as ushers for these events and earn money for the group at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
For example, the South Central Athletic Boosters from Greenwich, Ohio earned $34,000 in their first three years of ushering at Summit Motorsports Park.
When the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals nearly doubles the population of the county in July, Mike and Lori West coordinate about 50 people to usher on the Summit side of the dragstrip.
All of the money the group earns buys sports equipment and benefits the student athletes at South Central local schools.
The Wests take care of their own. They set up a hospitality area and cook brats, ribs, all kinds of great food.
“We feed them breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Mike West, president of South Central Athletic Boosters. “Our kids bring around a cart with drinks and snacks for our volunteers.”
They provide regular breaks so ushers may rest, too, Mike West said.
Also, when the show kicks in gear and most of the guests sit down, the ushers sit in the shade of the grandstands and enjoy the view, he said.
“To do it isn’t difficult,” Mike West said. “It’s very easy work. A lot of times we have people who didn’t want to do it, but then they say, ‘Well, that isn’t bad.’ And they want to do it again.”
“It’s fun,” Lori West said.
Volunteers commit at various levels. Some sign up for a partial shift. Others usher from open to close for the entire three days, Mike West said.
The longest day, Friday, includes a commitment of about 13 hours but ends with Bader family signature fireworks. Work on the other two days usually finishes by early evening.
And face it, the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals launches one spectacular red-white-and-blue show for the Fourth of July weekend at Summit Motorsports Park.
Last year we included a 30-foot-tall Statue of Liberty accompanied by fifes and drums, and Phil Dirt and the Dozers played pre-race entertainment on Championship Sunday.
Makes one wonder what Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park, plans for the 2013 Golden Anniversary Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
Since the South Central Athletic Boosters worked at the same grandstands and events for three years, the spectators and the group developed mutual recognition, Mike West said.
“It’s nice because I’m getting to know half of the people who come on that side,” Mike West said.
Also, Summit Motorsports Park hires trained police officers for security, so the most difficult assignment for ushers is clearing up ticket confusions.
All of the money earned by the South Central Athletic Boosters through ushering benefits the children and teens at the school, the Wests said.
They make sure each sport from junior high to high school receives some of the money for equipment or uniforms, whatever that sport needs, Mike West said.
More group ushering positions are available at Summit Motorsports Park., along with volunteer positions for teens. Group sizes may vary. For information and a list of open dates, please call 419-668-5555 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Summit Motorsports Park office.