Volunteers make the Series go ’round
When everything goes smoothly at the Little League Baseball World Series, it doesn’t happen by accident. There are about 2,000 people who volunteer to keep everything going, said Brian McClintock, director of media relations for Little League.
One such volunteer is World Series usher Veryl Simmons.
“I love doing this so much I drive 200 miles every day to come here,” said Simmons, 65, of Westfield, Tioga County, where she has an alpaca farm.
The retired 23-year Lewis Township supervisor has been volunteering at the World Series for 25 years, and it’s her love of people and the family she’s developed with fellow ushers that keeps her coming back.
As a 45-year employee of Weis Markets – and the first female manager companywide – former Williamsport Mayor Daniel Kirby told her one day when shopping that she should volunteer to help at the World Series. So she did.
The excitement never fades. When July hits, her adrenaline spikes and the countdown to the World Series begins, she said.
Fellow usher Bob Scotti, 50, has traveled with his family for four years from Cape Cod, Mass., to volunteer at the World Series. He likes meeting all the various people from around the world.
He also coaches Little League Baseball, which his son, Wyatt, 11, plays on.
Certain special moments are what he lives for, such as when he was collecting donations for the World Series and a 4-year-old girl dug 15 cents out of her pocket and plunked it in the jar.
Normally, he would stay for the whole Series. The only reason he’s leaving early this year is for his grandmother’s 100th birthday Saturday at Warwick, R.I.
“I’m just happy to be part of what is in my opinion one of the top 10 sporting events in the country,” Scotti said.
Some Emergency Medical Technicians also volunteer at the World Series, helping to ensure the public’s welfare. Spurgeon Moore, 56, of Muncy, EMT and head of ambulance services with Warrior Run Fire Department, volunteered to help out this week at the World Series, as he has done for the past five years. Eight others from the department also volunteered.
“We like being able to help people and be part of the World Series,” the 33-year EMT said.
So far, most health issues have been on the minor side, mostly headaches, he said, and some cases of dehydration.
Fellow EMT Veronica Irvine said, “It’s worth it to volunteer like this to give back to the community.”
Team hosts volunteer to live with the Little League teams during the World Series at the Grove in dormitories. The hosts help keep the teams on track and keep their schedule moving smoothly.
Michael Lundy, host for New England Region, said doing this psychs him up for teaching seventh-graders math at the Williamsport Area Middle School.
Over his five years as host, his global family has grown as he keeps in contact with many of the kids via Facebook. When he had melanoma, it touched him how many of the kids reached out to support him. He’s now cancer free.
“We don’t always speak the same language, but we all speak smiles,” Lundy said.
“This is the best un-paid job you could have,” he concluded.
Volunteer categories include:
* Grounds crew
* Game operations
* Certain EMTs.