ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Center St. George buzzed with activity this afternoon as volunteers and staff worked to get the convention center ready to serve as the Huntsman World Senior Games Headquarters. The games run from Oct. 7-19, with Opening Ceremonies at Dixie State University’s Hansen Stadium Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Today was about getting set up and ready for the arriving competitors who will begin checking in tomorrow.
Several dozen volunteers helped out putting everything together and making sure the Dixie Center is set up and organized for the athletes, Kyle Case, CEO of the Huntsman Games, said. In all, the games usually engage over 2,500 volunteers in a variety of capacities.
In preparation for the 10,000 athletes who will funnel through the Dixie Center over the next 12 days, volunteers hung banners, set up tables, put together informative posters, organized registration areas and moved in an entire gift shop. Setting up the Dixie Center is an important part of the games because every single athlete registers there before competing.
The Gift shop is one of the most labor intensive aspects of set up because in a single day workers move hundreds of types of merchandise and sort it out into an extensive shop, offering everything from shot glasses to sweatshirts.
For volunteer Carol Simillion this complex process is normal. She has been in charge of the gift shop for the last 19 years.
“The first year I did this we sold $3,000 worth of T-shirts from three tables,” Simillion said.
These days the gift shop takes up almost the entire Garden Room at the Dixie Center, and Case said it is one of the more robust gift shops at any event put on by the National Senior Games Association. Simillion said she puts in almost 1,000 hours a year to get the shop off the ground. And she is only one example of the hard working volunteers who give of their time to help put on the games.
Bob Matteson makes sure that all of the 10,000 welcome bags and shirts are in the right place and he also helps distribute them to athletes throughout the games. Matheson puts in 225 hours a year helping with the Huntsman Games, but for him the games are about more than handing out thousands of shirts.
“We are not just trying to process a bunch of numbers for the sake of it,” Matteson said. “We are trying to make that interface so that there is that understanding that this is a pretty neat place and people want to come back.”
As the games play out over the next 12 days expect to see hundreds of volunteers like these working hard to make the Huntsman World Senior Games a success.
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Visit: Huntsman World Senior Games website – Schedule, events, sports and more.
Volunteer: Senior Games Volunteer webpage
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