The Volunteers Make the Show


| October/November 1994



Managed chaos feeds 7,000 people'

Managed chaos feeds 7,000 people during the Steam-O-Rama four-day run.

850 S. Pleasant Ave. Dallastowm, Pennsylvania I7313-9601

The 36th annual Early American Steam Engine and Old Equipment Society Steam-O-Rama, near Windsor, Pennsylvania, was a resounding success September 30, October 1, 2, and 3, 1993, not because of the tractors or gas engines on display, not because of the horse pulls and pedal tractor pulls or mule rides, not because of the flea market, the antique cars and trucks, or even the excellent weather.

The success was there because of the people who volunteer untold hours of time throughout the year in planning, preparation, and fund raising. Those who are hauling, cooking, mowing, painting, coaxing, boasting, and calling all year long. Then, as the show unfolds, they are demonstrating, directing, placing, more cooking, serving, and always smiling. They deal with blown fuses, tripped breakers, fuel spills, water shortages, mud puddles, sewage, garbage, more mud, safety problems, parking problems, vendor problems and mud problems. They are up at 5:00 a.m. to get to the show grounds before the crowd and follow the last car out at midnight, hoping for sunshine and a good crowd for the next day.

An organization may have 500, 800, or 1,000 members, but the volunteers, usually 10% or less of the membership, carry the load and deserve the credit. The group greatly appreciates the exhibitors and vendors who draw the crowd and keep them interested, but if the volunteers weren't there to mow the grounds, raise the funds to pay for the land and taxes, paint and repair the buildings and provide refreshments for all, it would not be much of a show.

My particular venue is the kitchen, and as we all know, a crowd travels on its stomach. If they are fed well and reasonably they will stay satisfied and return again and again. Our kitchen crew is mostly female during the planning and preparation weeks before the show, but when the gates open and the crowd clamors to be fed, the male population of the kitchen raises dramatically.

All year long our faithful volunteers are out for each activity. It takes many men to binder the wagon loads of wheat in the hot July sun to be stored for the Steam-O-Rama and for our annual display at the York Interstate Fair. The Fair display itself takes about 2700 hours of volunteer time. A crew of about 15 travels the area demonstrating apple butter making and selling the finished product to benefit our own organization and others. The Ladies Auxiliary serves public sales by request and, of course, refreshments for the Steam-O-Rama.