Let the Games Begin

For volunteers, preparing for State Games activities has been almost non-stop.

Asked how long he'd been at Ray Stadium working, Greg Hodges told us, "Since 7:30 this morning."

Others were also putting in hours of sweat to make the 2002 State games of Mississippi a success.

"We are tired," said volunteer Benny Eggler. "We're working. That's what we're supposed to do."

"It's hot and sweaty and yucky out here," said Carolyn Smith, also a volunteer. "But we enjoy it. Look at what it does for the economy in Meridian."

By bringing in an estimated $4 million into the local economy, perhaps that is what leads many to volunteer. Whatever the cause, with more than 4,000 athletes expected, organizers say at least three hundred volunteers are needed.

"We only have four full time staff members so we couldn't do it without our volunteers," said State Games Director, April Luke. "We have to make sure there's enough fluids, that the bathrooms are clean. All athletes have to be entered into the computer. So, we have data entry. You'd be surprised. The phone rings constantly."

Luke added that volunteers would be needed throughout the next two weekends. To find out where you're needed, you can go by the State Games Volunteer office at Meridian Community College or call the State Games office at 482-0205.

"Anything that you want to do. we'll put you to work," said Luke.

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