Jul 26, 2023

Mid-Year Catch up with the USEA Volunteer Program

By Kaleigh Collett - USEA Staff
USEA/Faye Gandolfi Photo

The sport of eventing wouldn’t be possible without the amazing volunteers that donate their time to support competitions across the country all year long. As of July 14, a total of 38,040 hours have already been recorded through EventingVolunteers.com for 2023, and there is still much of the season left ahead. The Volunteer Incentive Program, which was formed in 2015, was created to recognize the USEA’s dedicated volunteers through national and area leaderboards which award year-end awards and prizes. Here are the volunteers that are currently topping the leaderboard for 2023!

Thus far, 2,770 volunteers have assisted in the production of 154 events across the U.S., and all of the volunteers that are in the Top 10 of the national volunteer leaderboard at the moment are VIP medal recipients. The VIP Medal Program has been recognizing volunteers who consistently serve the sport since 2020, and there are now more than 40 volunteers who have been recognized for receiving their Bronze (500+ hours) or Silver (1,000+ hours) medals through the program.

Jim Moyer of Gig Harbor, Washington, is currently at the top of the national leaderboard with an astounding 411 hours and 20 minutes approved this year alone. Jim has already received his Bronze Medal and is well on his way to Silver Medal status. With less than one hour separating them, the 2022 Volunteer of the Year, Dick Owen of Port Orange, Florida, is in second place and has collected 410 hours and 31 minutes in 2023. Owen passed suddenly on July 1, but his legacy of service within the sport will undoubtedly live on. Rounding out the top three is Jerry Buell of Leesburg, Florida, who has collected 321 hours and 34 minutes this year.

Several familiar names are also at the top of the USEA Medal Program Leaderboard, which tracks all of the hours collected in EventingVolunteers.com since December 1, 2016. Diane Bird, the 2019 Volunteer of the Year, is in first place with 1,625 hours and 57 minutes. The top five on the USEA Medal Program leaderboard are as follows: Diane Bird (1625:57), David Slagle (1563:12), Dick Owen (1486:39), Cynthia Smith (1420:24), and Angie Leihy (1282:09).

Several factors can influence the number of hours each volunteer has, factors including the frequency of events in each area, geography and the ease of travel and how many events are using EventingVolunteers.com. Whether it’s 100 volunteer hours or 10, every top volunteer from each area deserves recognition for their hard work! Below are the current 2023 top three volunteers by area.

Area I
628 hours – 90 volunteers – 13 events

  1. Emily Deldon – 24:15
  2. Cheryl Sackler – 19:30
  3. Margaret Potorski – 17:54

Area II
8,933 hours – 676 volunteers – 46 events

  1. Susan Hart – 240:05
  2. Joan Harper – 159:00
  3. Vicki Reynolds – 105:00

Area III
8,879 hours – 447 volunteers – 50 events

  1. Dick Owen – 326:34
  2. Jerry Buell – 309:19
  3. Lynne Buell – 236:18

Area IV
731 hours – 95 volunteers – 5 events

  1. Kelly Cross – 24:15
  2. Matt Belanus – 19:30
  3. Sam Belanus – 18:29

Area V
458 hours – 67 volunteers – 5 events

  1. Debra Sue Waters – 25:17
  2. Katie Morgan – 18:59
  3. Amelia Mitchell – 16:48

Area VI
1,960 hours – 168 volunteers – 11 events

  1. Layla Schackner – 89:10
  2. Mickey Sanchez – 67:45
  3. Suzy Edwards – 63:22

Area VII
2,449 hours – 173 volunteers – 7 events

  1. Jim Moyer – 358:30
  2. Sarah Airhart – 88:05
  3. Joe Hannan – 69:30

Area VIII
13,105 hours – 1,029 volunteers – 10 events

  1. Shelley Ryan – 182:50
  2. Carroll Crowl – 170:34
  3. Mary Fike – 117:30

Area IX
511 hours – 68 volunteers – 6 events

  1. Khris Latham – 31:55
  2. Jameson Cahill – 24:00
  3. Ashton Bredemeier – 23:30

Area X
380 hours – 35 volunteers – 1 event

  1. Jessica Cleary – 40:42
  2. Terri Renwick – 36:24
  3. Brian Murphy – 31:09

About the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport, the unsung heroes, and the people who make it possible to keep the sport alive. In efforts to recognize the dedication, commitment, and hard work that volunteers put into eventing, USEA formed the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) in 2015. In 2017, an online management portal was designed for volunteers, organizers, and volunteer coordinators at EventingVolunteers.com (available as an app for iOS and Android).

Volunteer incentives include national and area recognition, year-end awards with ribbons, cash prizes, and trophies, a top ten USEA Volunteer leaderboard, and a Volunteer of the Year award which is given to the volunteer who tops the leaderboard by accumulating the most volunteer hours over the USEA competition year. Click here to learn more about the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program

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