Yuma, Arizona - Arizona Western College announced that a record number of volunteers participated in today’s 8thAnnual AWC Day of Champions across Yuma County. Arizona Western College and the Matador Athletic Association salute all of the 387 volunteers that gave their time and energy this morning and afternoon.
It is the fourth straight year that the volunteer number for the day has exceeded 350 people, and the second consecutive year that that number has been greater than 380.
The total of 387 volunteers in 2012 exceeds the record total of 383 workers set last year. Nearly 250 members of the AWC Athletic Department participated in this event. The contingent included AWC Athletic DirectorJerry Smith; head coaches Nikki Bethurum, Patrick Cunningham, Kenny Dale, Charles Harral, Drew Keehn, Tiffany Minnick, Tom Minnick and Jason Smith; assistant coaches Kyle Carothers, Will Carr,Jerry Dominguez, Kyle Isaacs, Leo Lozano, James Magee, Ritchie Martin, Jordan McCavitt, Tony Mitchell, Molly Moran, Michael Orthmann, Alfonso Perez, Dominique Richardson, Regina Schlichter and Vernon Smith; athletic trainers Jo Jo Elliott and Zac Myers; athletic secretaryCindy Evans, athletic equipment managerElias Escobarand AWC Sports Information Director Jim Howell.
Standing side-by-side with that contingent were over 70 employees of the four Yuma County Wal-Mart stores, 6 from Sam’s Club, over 20 from Outback Steakhouse, 2 from Pepsi-Cola of Yuma, over 20 members of the AWC facilities staff, AWC Photography Department and Sodexo-AWC Dining Service , and 6 bus drivers. The volunteers dug in and handled 35 different community projects for non-profit agencies throughout Yuma, Wellton, Roll, Somerton, the Foothills and San Luis, over the span of just over four hours. Agencies such as Amberly’s Place, Hands Extended, Saddles of Joy, City of Yuma Parks & Recreation, Precious Treasures, Yuma Foothills Rotary, the Yuma County Library District, Crossroads Mission, Crossroads Mission Thrift Store, Habitat for Humanity, the Yuma Community Food Bank, the Salvation Army, Greater Foothills Helping Hands, the Town of Wellton, the Yuma Family YMCA and the Yuma Conservation Garden opened the doors, gates, windows, driveways, back yards, side roads, warehouses, storage units, washes and hallways to allow the volunteers to help them complete some very crucial tasks. “We get a little more efficient every year, which is a great credit to everyone involved,” said AWC Athletic Director Jerry Smith. “When you see the combination of the months of planning by the organizers; the intense coordination the week before by our staff; the energy of our bus drivers in covering about 400 miles worth of travel very quickly to get our volunteers where they need to go; the focus of our volunteers to band together to get three dozen jobs done so fast; and the incredible work by the staff at Outback to serve that many people coming in and out of their restaurant in the span of about 75 minutes, you’re just gratified to see it all come together so completely. Of course, the truly important parts of this day, though, is the satisfaction that our volunteers get by knowing how much they’re helping, and the smiles on the faces and the positive feedback we receive from the organizations that truly appreciate what we’re trying to accomplish.”
KBLU, KTTI, and KQSR provided public service announcements in the weeks leading up to the event; Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club provided breakfast bags and ice chests for the volunteers this morning; Southwest Gas provided equipment and work gloves for the volunteers; Pepsi-Cola of Yuma provided water throughout the day; and the day culminated at Yuma’s Outback Steakhouse, whose staff provided all of the volunteers to a great meal and great service after the jobs were completed.