Kenai Kardinal Cheerleaders share their spirit with "Rascal" the AWG Raven at a recent volunteer rally.
Pep rallies are at the heart of all major sporting events, and as the Kenai Peninsula prepares to host the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, volunteer pep rallies are starting to spring up all over the Peninsula. Last weeks event held at Kenai Chrysler Center drew over 300 visitors to the showroom which was converted to allow informational booths for all 50 some committees that are seeking helpers for the games. “We signed up nearly 100 new volunteers and hundreds more who had already registered on line with us came out to gather more information about what they would be doing during the events. It was kind of a career day for volunteers,” said AWG volunteer manager Kathy Moore.
The AWG mascot Rascal the Raven was present throughout the day and learned some new moves from the Kenai Kardinal cheerleading squad that stopped by to rally Kenai students to press on to victory in the school volunteer recruitment competition. “It’s called the Arctic Winter Games spirit challenge and it’ll run through the end of December. What we’ll be doing is giving the school that recruits the most volunteers a spring break after their spring break seeing they’ll be volunteering their time for the Arctic Winter Games during their regular spring break. We’ll have lots of surprises for the winning school,” explained Moore.
Moore was encouraged by the turnout at the rally and the enthusiasm of the people who came out to register. In a live radio interview Mary Bell of Soldotna who works in food service at Skyview High School said she had decided to postpone her retirement for a year just so that she would have the opportunity to work during her vacation to help prepare the meals for the AWG athletes, “I wouldn’t miss this chance for anything, not even my own retirement,” said Bell.
While Saturday’s rally strengthened the ranks of AWG volunteers, Moore says there is still a long way to go to fill all the positions needed, “We’re right where we should be at this time, but the need to double the effort is right now, we’re moving and I have total faith in our community that we can do it. These are our games and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in a major international event right here at home.”
The 2006 Arctic Winter Games will be held in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in March 5th -11th and is expected to include over 1,900 athletes and cultural performers and 1,500 special guests from seven participating circumpolar nations including Canada, Russia, Greenland, Norway, Finland, Denmark and the U.S.A. (Alaska). The 7-day event will require nearly 3,000 volunteers and is expected to attract between 6,000 and 8,000 spectators. All AWG volunteers must register on line in order to receive security clearance and volunteer credentials. To sign up go to www.awg2006.org click on the volunteer panel and follow the simple instructions.
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