// BONUS ONLINE-ONLY COVERAGE Catching the volunteer bug in Vegas

Join the fun: Get involved

at international events

By Gail Armstrong, Racine Curling Club

years. But this April I discovered another branch of curling love, competitive event volunteers. It started innocently enough. We had a time-


share week to kill and so I thought it would be fun to use it in Las Vegas during the World Men’s Championship. Ten I saw the ticket package prices and determined that volunteering could be a more economical way to see the games. My husband, David Bemus, came on board during the Olympics. He figured that he could carry a flag as well as anyone. Did I mention I have a Scottish heritage? So, I sent in my volunteer application and was

promptly accepted to work in Merchandising (Giſt Shop). David worked the 50/50 and we both worked ceremonies. Te $100 application fees bought our uniforms, two BRIGHT green golf shirts and a windbreaker, a really cool volunteer pin, and meals for every shiſt we worked, plus seating for any games that we were not working. For the opening ceremonies it was all hands

on deck. Flag bearers and sign carriers for all 13 teams marched in a New Orleans-style parade via the skywalk from the Orleans Casino to the arena. As we gathered to wait for the parade we met the teams and took pictures and had polite conversations. I learned that the young Russian team did not have any family there to cheer them on. So I ordered a Russian flag from Amazon so I could fill that gap. As we got to know our fellow volunteers we

found out this is a whole sub culture of curling. Some folks have been volunteering at the various events for over 18 years. Tey use it as a reunion with friends met last year. Teir experience aug-

34 ))

Team USA’s Rich Ruohonen gives high-fives to fans at the World Men’s Championship in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of the World Curling Federation

ments the excellent leadership of the volunteer coordinators. Tey compare different volunteer experiences the way any good curler compares bonspiels. Te committee was extremely proud of the

fact that 17 of the 19 ice crew volunteers were American working 24/7 for more than 17 days. Te balance of the 162 volunteers each worked a minimum of 30 hours and were from Canada, the U.S,, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany and Australia. As the week went on we saw a lot of people we

knew from our curling world. David saw Cana- dian Don Garside come through the doors and promptly called to him, “Hey, Don, are you a Turtle?” Without skipping a beat, octogenar- ian Don turned and replied, “YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I AM”. Te not-so-secret code for Turtles worldwide. It was a wonderful honor to volunteer at the

2018 World Men’s Championship. We are look- ing forward to doing it again soon. We hear the Continental Cup is a blast and 2020 in Glasgow certainly has some possibilities. Tere are no gold medals in our curling future, but this is a great way to participate in international curling with the many other skills we possess. Q

// CERTIFICATIONS Level I Instructor

Steve Altus, Silicon Valley Curling Club Jeffrey Anderson, Orlando Curling Club Sharon Besso, Upper Valley Curling

Zoram Blancas-Ruiz, Pine Tree Curling Club Jennifer Bracy, Te Country Club Ryan Buckenmeyer, Bowling Green CC Danielle Buczek, Blackstone Valley CC Matthew Buczek, Blackstone Valley CC Jonathan Carelli, Nutmeg Curling Club Joe Ehle, Alpine Curling Club

James Ellis, Kettle Moraine Curling Club Kirstie Fanning, Albany Curling Club Jessica Gallicchio, Jersey Pinelands CC Kevin Gault, Detroit Curling Club Joe Glaeser, Lone Star Curling Club

Douglas Goolsby, Columbus Curling Club Shea Gorzelanczyk, Green Bay Curling Club Doug Grinsell, Sioux Falls Curling Brea Grueneich, Sioux Falls Curling Mark Harris, Arlington Curling Club Ben Henderson, Park City Curling Club Matthew Henning, Triangle Curling Club Nelson Hilger, Wine Country Curling Club Susan Hinton, Broomstones Curling Club

a G ic , Sio x F s C

think I just joined another cult. I am al- ready a card-carrying member of the curl- ing cult. I have loved curling for over 50

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