LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sara Callaway caught a glimpse of a few horses from a distance Sunday and was worn out when she finished her first eight-hour concession shift at the World Equestrian Games.
But it was a "good tired" knowing her volunteer work will help to eradicate polio on the other side of the world.
Callaway and other Frankfort Rotary Club members — along with Rotarians statewide — are the primary work force serving food and handling cashier duties at the games' public concession sites.
Rotarians and their friends are volunteering their time to raise money for Rotary International's Polio Plus project, which hopes to wipe out the crippling childhood disease.
Once widely feared in the U.S., polio now exists in only a few developing nations.
The Rotary Foundation will receive a percentage of sales from concession stands staffed by its volunteers.
Based on projections by the games' concessionaire, Buona Event Catering of Chicago, proceeds could amount to $300,000 to $400,000 for Polio Plus.
The foundation hopes to raise $200 million for Polio Plus to match $355 million in challenge grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Callaway, who retired from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services three years ago, signed up to work the 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. shift four consecutive days, Sunday through Wednesday.
Monday she worked in the clubhouse, "which is near the Equine Village and very nice," she said. "I was working with Rotary members from Florence, Lexington and Richmond.
"None of us knew each other before but we had a wonderful time getting to know each other. We bused tables, cleaned trays and did all kinds of things. We just clicked."
She said the line was steady throughout the day.
"We were very busy the entire time, but it wasn't a burden. It was good to be busy.
"Everybody who came in was in a good mood. They were having a good time and enjoying the park, but they were cold. So the clubhouse was a very popular spot."
Sunday, Callaway spent her shift working two places a small tent serving hot chocolate and coffee.
"Then I was assigned to the Walnut Grove tent, the largest venue for serving food," she said. "At that location I ran around restocking huge refrigerator units with soft drinks, sandwiches and salads."
Later in the day she returned to the small tent.
"They were swamped, so I pitched in and helped."
All of the concession volunteers wear khaki slacks, a white or plain-colored shirt, a navy blue jacket with the Buona logo "so we all look alike," Callaway says. "We also get a cap, but I don't wear mine because hats give me a headache."
She says she enjoys volunteering because it's helping Rotary and the Polio Plus program, the Kentucky Horse Park and the state.
"I like to do volunteer work for things I believe in," she says. "When you have time, you ought to spend a lot of that time doing things for others."
Frankfort Rotarians Dave Steele and Don Dykman also are volunteering at the Lexington games.
Dykman, who is retired from Toyota, says he's worked two Saturdays and has one more Saturday to go.
His first day was spent "chasing beer, trying to keep bartenders supplied," Dykman says.
"This past Saturday they had me busing tables. Apparently they thought that was something I could catch on to, and I actually did.
"I ran into a lot of interesting people. I had lunch with a guy from Sweden. Fortunately he spoke good English because my Swedish isn't worth a toot.
"He was an interesting fellow, some kind of coordinator with the Swedish equestrian team."
Steele, local YMCA director, worked opening day and returned Saturday to "pour beer all day."
Steele also recruited Willie Hensley, a longtime Y member, to work with him Saturday as a volunteer for Frankfort Rotary.
"We met people from everywhere South Africa, The Netherlands, Egypt, Jordan, Germany, England, Australia and New Zealand," Steele said.
A 14-ounce cup of beer is $7 and a glass of wine is $15, "pretty pricy," Steele said.
He worked opening day at the main food tent. The first four hours were slow, "and that was followed by utter madness," Steele said. "It was crazy busy."
Before moving to Frankfort, Steele was a YMCA camp director for 25 years, "so I've had plenty of experience being around large food service operations."
He's planning to return for one more eight-hour shift, "and I'd prefer to keep working in the beer garden."
Steele also recruited the office staff at Lloyd's of Kentucky in Frankfort to be Rotary volunteers.
Steele says he thinks the Horse Park is spectacular.
"All in all, I think they've done a great job with the games," Steele said. "People I've talked with from all over the world are very impressed with Kentucky and our hospitality."
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