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Super Dave

The Value of a Volunteer

“Super Dave!” Marketing Director Sean King calls from his office nearest the front door. An older man greets him with a kind smile and stops in to talk for a minute.

“Hey Super Dave!” "Super Dave, how's it goin'?" The greetings resound down the hallway as Dave makes his weekly stop by each of our offices to say hello. He’s been coming here much longer than most of us have worked here.

“I don’t even know how long I’ve been volunteering,” he said. “Since before YEA! moved to Allentown. My wife calls me the eternal band parent,” Dave smiled.

Super Dave spent many years teaching elementary education; then he taught at the University of Pittsburgh while earning his doctorate there. He finished his career teaching future teachers at Millersville University in PA. Dave’s been a drum corps fan for almost forever, and his kids were in marching band during their high school years, although they never competed in USSBA (now USBands).

“I actually got involved here because I knew Ray Schofield through the Crossmen,” Dave said. (Ray was working for YEA! at the time, and he still coordinates USBands shows in the fall.) “After my kids got out of school, this was a good way to stay involved,” Dave continued. “I can’t travel with a drum corps, so this was a good alternative.”

So at least once a week, Super Dave walks down the hall and greets each YEA! face. Then he settles into the conference room to do whatever extra work needs to be done. He usually works with Larry on DVD sales, fulfilling orders mostly. They’ve become good friends working together over the years.

SuperDave1.jpgDuring the summer, Super Dave volunteers at the four Cadets-sponsored drum corps shows. In the fall, you can find him selling USBands DVDs at one of our numerous shows each weekend. He earned his nickname from his good-hearted disposition and unfailing willingness to help however he can.

“As much as I love the activity, I do this just as much for the people – the staff here and the parents that you see at the shows. I hardly ever get to see the kids because I’m selling DVDs, but the activity itself is so important to kids, and I think it’s important to support it,” he said.

As a retired teacher and parent, Dave understands the value of music education and performance in students’ lives. “I really believe that everyone has an obligation to volunteer for the things we value,” he said. “This isn’t the only organization I volunteer for.”

As it turns out, Super Dave also has a passion for roller coasters. He’s ridden over 700 different ones. “It’s hard to keep up because they keep building them,” he said.

So Dave also spends time volunteering for the American Coaster Enthusiasts.

“When I was a kid, I worked in amusement park every summer until I started teaching; it kinda gets in your blood,” he said.

I asked which of the 700 coasters is his favorite.

“The one I’m riding,” he paused and then chuckled. “That’s the stock answer you’re supposed to give so you don’t offend anyone. Honestly, I’d have to say the Ravine Flier II at Waldameer Park in Eerie, PA.”

Dave said that when he retired from teaching, he decided it was time to spend time doing things he enjoys – namely drum corps and roller coasters, although he’s also volunteered for the American Red Cross, United Way, many church activities, the Landis Valley Farm Museum and many more organizations over the years.

“I do this because it’s payback – payback for my kids’ experiences in the activity, and because of all the hours I’ve spent enjoying The Cadets,” he said. “It’s fun.”

While he’s one of the most selfless people you could meet, Dave pointed out that there are some personal perks to volunteering. “You do develop friendships, too. I first met Kevin White working the gate at J. Birney. Now every year, a group of us goes to DCI Finals and we have the best time. Kevin organizes the whole thing.”

“I figure, at 75, I gotta do something. As long as my legs hold up, I’ll keep doing it.”

The entire staff at YEA! sincerely thanks Super Dave for his faithful service to our efforts. We truly would not be the same without him and others like him.

 

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