Friday, December 26, 2014

It takes a ton of help to create a fun environment

From page B3 | August 26, 2014 |

By Kari Halozan

With apologies to “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”: If you give a boy a football, he’s going to want to play with his friends.

In Davis, playing football with friends could lead to joining the Davis Junior Blue Devils. If he joins DJBD — and you are his parents — summer may be shorter than you planned.

Like most youth sports organizations, the DJBD is fueled by volunteers. A quick look at the board makeup gives one a feel for how many folks are involved “at the top.”

(Scott Carrell is president, Jennifer Taylor is secretary, Joe Carnazzo is the Davis High School liaison, Roman Rosario is the fundraising guru, Craig Barksdale is treasurer, Rosie Segura is the volunteer coordinator, Tabatha Lichtenhan is registrar, Michael Fields is equipment manager, Wayne Halozan and yours truly run concessions — more about that in a second — and Kim Griffiths is the cheer registrar.)

But it’s those invaluable parent volunteers who complete the team.

One of the first things I discovered when my son Kevin joined football in 2012 was the variety of volunteer positions available.

The football — and cheer — programs require four parent-volunteer hours per child per season.

Continuing the successful use of the SignUP Genius program from last year, Segura has the herculean task of scheduling all those volunteers — a very complicated job, not just because there are so many families to coordinate, but because many of these families have multiple children between football and cheer and the various age groups.

Parent volunteer positions include team manager, equipment liaison, publicity, statistician, photographer, entry gate and concessions workers, and “chain gang.”

Some of these are self-explanatory; others not so much. Regardless of football knowledge, volunteers are extremely welcome and necessary. In fact, the organization could not survive without them.

During my first year, I tried almost every job that did not require a specific skill (statistician) or piece of equipment (photographer) and found everyone else in the program to be extremely helpful.

In fact, Davis football is incredibly inclusive. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I have never felt that my contribution mattered more.

My favorite volunteer position, seriously, is concessions. It’s a good thing, too, because this is where I spend every home game.

There’s nothing better than offering fans an ice-cold beverage or a hot dog; everyone is always happy to see you!

Also, the concessions table has a great view of the game and it’s shaded. If that wasn’t enough, volunteers get a complimentary drink. Don’t tell anyone — I’m sure they’ll all want to work there.

If your child is a part of DJBD football or cheer, thank you sincerely for your continued support. If you are a friend or family member, stop by the concessions tent during game time and say hello.

While everyone else is broiling in the sun, we’ve got it made in the shade!

— In addition to handling concessions, Kari Halozan is the publicity chief for the Junior Blue Devils.



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