Ready to wrap a ‘work in progress’

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

BY AN­GELA BROWN

News Staff It takes about 1,000 vol­un­teers to pre­pare and run the In­ter­na­tional Plow­ing Match and Ru­ral Expo.

North Glen­garry Mayor Chris McDonell, who is also a re­tired po­lice de­tec­tive, was pleased to of­fer his ex­per­tise to help as­sist peo­ple work­ing the ad­mis­sion gates dur­ing the event, and man­age the crowds.

Vol­un­teers Terry Brownell and Vic Burns will han­dle se­cu­rity is­sues as mem­bers of the site pro­tec­tion com­mit­tee.

Mr. McDonell and Ian Mur­phy are co-chair­ing the gates/ticket sales com­mit­tee. “We’re in charge of the gates, look­ing af­ter the money and the peo­ple at the gates,” said Mr. McDonell.

Or­ga­niz­ers are plan­ning to have four gates op­er­at­ing with seven or eight peo­ple run­ning each gate, for each shift.

“For five days you are talk­ing quite a few peo­ple,” said Mr. McDonell.

In­volved in plan­ning this part of the work for the IPM for the past two years, Mr. McDonell also helped at the IPM when it ws held in Chuteà-Blon­deau, near Hawkes­bury, in 2011.

“I en­joy said.

Rob McDon­ald, of North Lan­caster, will be plow­ing at the match for the week, and is also volunteering on the trac­tor park com­mit­tee. He said the en­tire or­ga­niz­ing process started four years ago.

Mr. McDon­ald is ex­cited about show­cas­ing some of the early farm­ing equip­ment. “It’s what started things off,” he said, adding much of the old equip­ment still works fine. He has been help­ing with IPM projects since 1994. “I like the ca­ma­raderie of it,” he said.

Vol­un­teer com­mit­tee chair Bill McGimpsey said or­ga­niz­ers have reached their goal in re­cruit­ing a large squadron of vol­un­teers. “We will find some­thing for ev­ery­one to do if we have more vol­un­teers come in,” he added.

Some of the big­ger com­mit­tees will be con­trol­ling traf­fic, man­ag­ing the park­ing area, and shut­tling peo­ple from the park­ing ar­eas to the event site.

Mr. McGimpsey said there are al­most 300 peo­ple on one team of vol­un­teers who are re­spon­si­ble for shut­tling peo­ple to the event grounds.

Other groups are work­ing at the RV park for campers and

it,” Mr. McDonell pre­par­ing the site.

Mr. McGimpsey said some peo­ple have been volunteering for the past two years or more.

“It’s been an amaz­ing leadup to it, and quite a work-in­progress,” he added. He pointed out peo­ple need to have the re­quired skills to do cer­tain work as a vol­un­teer, such as volunteering as a driver. “We are do­ing our best to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­one,” he added.

Mr. McGimpsey is es­pe­cially im­pressed with the num­ber of peo­ple who have vol­un­teered to help with the plow­ing match, given the vast scope of the pro­ject. “This is the cul­ture we have,” he said. “You look at the Wil­liamstown Fair or the Avon­more Fair, and most of the ma­jor func­tions, they wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the vol­un­teers.”

“It will be the first time a lot of us have done this at the IPM -- that is the big­gest chal­lenge,” Mr. McGimpsey said. “It’s the first time I have ever worked with over 1,000 vol­un­teers. It’s the first time we have ever done this. I find it ex­cit­ing, and we are go­ing to make it the best IPM ever.”

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