[dropcaps]S[/dropcaps]ixty-six Knights from Council 8157 volunteered to work at one of the concession stands during the little league World Series tournament completed on Sunday June 29th. This was, by far, the largest contingent of Knights to work any project in the 30+ year history of this Council. 121 games were played at Valley Ridge Park and 36 were played at Dot Thomas Park from June 25th thru June 29th. Knights worked a total of 105 work shift of 4 ½ hours each for a grand total of 472+ man/hours. Add to that all the preparation time and stocking time by the baseball committee and the total man/hours exceeded 550. For these hours more than $20,000 in sales was generated.
On Wednesday June 25th, all the team (there were 73 teams in the World Series this year) players and coaches and fan were at Valley Ridge for instruction and registration and skills competition. This was cut short by rain; but the games started on time at 8:00am on Thursday at both Valley Ridge and Dot Thomas. Since no one was allowed to bring food or drinks into the parks, the concession stands were open by 7:00am and usually closed by 8:00pm. Typically 6 Knights worked each of three daily shifts at Valley Ridge and two Knights worked each shift at Dot Thomas. In addition to the traditional fare of Breakfast sandwiches, BBQ sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, French fries, popcorn, nachos, Frito pies, drinks, candies and snacks, this year we added Earl Campbell sausage sandwiches and snow cones. Dot Thomas’ menu was somewhat abbreviated.
There were many hero’s at this years’ event; Knights who went above and beyond the regular 4 ½ hour work shift. Here are some of them: James Smith/Andy Goza made 1 or 2 trips daily to the parks stocking each with raw materials. Ken Rarick not only worked three shifts – but one of the shifts was on his birthday. Mike Rumsey worked three regular shifts and then filled in on an emergency basis on very short notice for a fourth shift. Hendrick Maison worked a shift on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning and then stayed until 4:00pm because we needed the extra help. Jeff Miller switched shifts on practically no notice at all and then stayed an extra 2 hours because he saw we needed the help. Larry/Shiela Balagna worked two shifts at Valley Ridge (Thursday and Friday morning) and then closed Dot Thomas on Sunday afternoon. Ray Rivera not only worked three shifts; but also convinced his grandson to help on two of those shifts. Steve Castillo worked during the day at his regular job and then worked at the ballpark at Valley Ridge from 4:00pm until closing on Thursday and Friday. Greg Warr not only did the accounting for the entire spring baseball season; but also worked two regular shifts and then pinch hit for another shift at Dot Thomas. Jan Araki quietly worked the counter on three shifts and always insisted on paying for the items he ate or drank.
The “above and beyond” efforts of the above named Knights in no way lessens the importance of those Knights who labored for one or two shifts and they were: Doug Skierski who kicked off the event on Wednesday morning (he had volunteered along with his son – James – to work each morning of the World Series but was called away to Austin on business), Juan Chapa worked the middle shift on Wednesday. Roy Cormier worked the middle shift on Wednesday making nachos (he is a new Knight), Jim Stavinoha worked two shifts (Wednesday and Friday) and manned the snow cone station. Mike Higgins gets credit for two shifts even though one was cut very short by the rain on Wednesday. Ed O’Brien who opened Valley Ridge on Thursday and Friday. Rudy Hernandez who worked a double shift on Thursday (from 7:00am until 4:00pm). Rod Constant who always finds the time to work at the World Series. Jose Montoya worked the Thursday middle shift and helped get the parks ready by cleaning and installing the equipment. Carlos Favela worked the two middle shifts at Valley Ridge on Thursday and Friday. Chris Edwards worked the closing shift on Thursday after working all day running his sign business. Nick Gleason worked the opening shift at Valley Ridge on Friday and then the middle shift on Saturday (he is now a snow cone expert). Jim Russell worked the middle shift at Dot Thomas on Thursday and then the opening shift at Valley Ridge on Friday. Ernie Coy made French fries and popcorn during the middle shift on Friday at Valley Ridge. Abel Lugo worked the closing shifts on Friday and Saturday at Valley Ridge. Mike Fitzgerald worked the opening shift on Saturday before he left for Minnesota. Bob Motta did his cooking magic on Saturday morning at Valley Ridge. Jay Trapp cooled the drinks and made snow cones Saturday morning at Valley Ridge. Larry Dumais worked the counter Saturday morning at Valley Ridge. Alan Garcia a very recently installed Knight, made French fries and popcorn (on a broken machine no less) on Saturday morning at Valley Ridge. Ken Struck worked the counter and whatever else was needed at Valley Ridge Saturday morning. Arturo Benal is now officially a cook after doing so Saturday morning at Valley Ridge. Russell Gully saved the day on Saturday middle shift by inviting his wife Tricia to work the counter with him. Jesse Radillo cooked hot dogs, made BBQ sandwiches, Earl Campbell sandwiches and chicken sandwiches Saturday middle shift at Valley Ridge. Dan Hernandez was the nacho and Frito pie Knight on Saturday at Valley Ridge. Eric Conner, who has never missed a World Series, worked the counter on Saturday middle shift at Valley Ridge. David Dybala left his lake house to work the closing shift on Saturday. Ray Presas iced drinks and made snow cones on Saturday closing shift and then worked same along with his step-son Andy (he’s 14) on Sunday middle shift. Billy Callender worked nachos and Frito pies on Saturday closing shift. Efrain Ochoa was the French fry Knight during the closing shift Saturday at Valley Ridge. Bill Dover worked the counter opening shift Sunday morning. Greg Porter, who was instrumental in getting Valley Ridge baseball built in 2007, worked the counter opening shift Sunday morning and stayed long after his shift ended because the line was long. Michael Bender-Jutzi did cooking duties Sunday opening shift at Valley Ridge. John Espree did cooking duties during the always busy middle shift on Sunday at Valley Ridge. Jerry Jacob made French fries Sunday morning (he attempted to make popcorn; but alas the machine has perished). Tony Almanza helped close the World Series on Sunday afternoon/evening. Mario Ramos also was present during the closing of the World Series on Sunday making nachos and Frito pies. Agustin Perez Sr. worked the counter Sunday closing shift at Valley Ridge. Dan Murphy opened Dot Thomas on Thursday and Friday morning. Frank Salazar worked the first shift at Dot Thomas on Thursday morning. Mike Luna rushed from his job to work the middle shift at Dot Thomas on Thursday. Tony Houston worked the closing shift at Dot Thomas on Thursday. Jim Richardson worked the closing shift at Dot Thomas on Thursday and the middle shift on Saturday at Dot Thomas. Nick Kleinhaus manned the stand at Dot Thomas Saturday morning opening shift. Mike Moloughney was Nick’s partner at Dot Thomas on Saturday morning. Pat Stepniewski worked the middle shift at Dot Thomas on Saturday. Peter Perta and Ben Burns and Tim Burns worked the opening shift at Dot Thomas Sunday morning. Chris Kubin and David Camarillo took over from the morning shift at Dot Thomas and worked until 4:00pm. Credit must be given to Jim/Lillian Kowalski and James Picha because they volunteered but we were unable to find a shift for them to work. Jim Myers gets credit for helping prepare the stands for the event.
To all the Knights who participated in this years’ event, the Council and in particular the baseball committee would like to say “a job well done” and thanks to all. You have made your Council proud.
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