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Dedicated volunteers help make food stand a success

| October 3, 2019

Dee Smith (left) and Pat Moran (right) have volunteered at the River View food stand at the fair for many years. The two do everything from helping to prepare the food to cleaning up at night when everyone has left, and everything in between.

COSHOCTON – Each year, the three local school district music boosters set up a food stand at the fair. All volunteers put in a lot of time and energy to make the music boosters food stands a success each year.

In the River View food stand, Pat Moran works tirelessly each year and is someone that River View can always count on. Since 1990, she has come in every day of the fair at 7 a.m. to start preparing the food for the day and most days, she leaves at 10 p.m. or later. The Saturday before the fair, Moran and other volunteers were out at the fairgrounds cleaning the food stand and getting ready for the week ahead.

“For 20-some years, I’ve worked with this lady and I’m still learning from her,” said Dee Smith. “She has been a great teacher and mentor. She’s taught me things that 10 years ago, I never dreamt of doing. She’s been tremendous.”

Moran has performed many jobs over the years including preparing the food, washing tables, grilling food, washing the dishes, and helping to clean up after everyone has left.

“I enjoy doing it and I like the people I work with,” said Moran. “And I like being around the younger kids.”

Moran is a River View graduate and so are her children. In the 1980s, Mel and Judy Parks got her involved with the River View music department and she started helping with their concession stands at games and with other meals that River View had throughout the year.

“I work with a great group of people,” said Moran. “I just wish more parents would get involved.”

Moran said the food stand has changed over the years. In the past, coaches, teachers, and other volunteers would stay all night to guard the building and a tarp would cover the building each night. Moran also remembers waiting tables.

The food stand has also had a new sink and a new refrigerator added and other equipment has been upgraded.

“Without the whole group, it couldn’t be done,” said Moran. “I just wish more parents would get involved. Just give a few hours. It doesn’t have to be a full shift.”

Not only do volunteers help to man the stand, but restaurants in the community also donate items to help make the food stand a success.

“Local businesses have been great this year donating paper supplies, forks and spoons,” said Smith. “When you have a good working relationship with restaurants every year, it helps our bottom line tremendously.”

Smith has also been working at the food stand for many years. She started in high school and after taking a break in 1991, she returned in 2003 and has volunteered ever since. She also had three kids graduate from River View and they have volunteered at the food stand as well.

Smith does whatever needs done at the food stand, anything from working the cash registers to preparing the meals and cleaning up after everyone leaves.

“I’m generally a gofer,” she said, laughing. “It benefits the kids who are currently in the music program and the future of the music program, so if we weren’t concerned about the future of the program, we would have given it up a long time ago.”

Both Smith and Moran plan to volunteer at the food stand for a long time to come.

“You have to love doing it to be able to do it,” said Moran. “I still enjoy it. I’m planning to continue it as long as I can.”

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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