Over 136 million people have turned on their televisions and watched the the first 25 Valero Alamo Bowls on ESPN.
Those fans have watched some of the college football’s most memorable post-season finishes without thinking about all the goes into growing an event from one of the new kids on the block to a game that’s hosted four straight Top-15 match-ups.
The Valero Alamo Bowl has seven full-time employees and brings on four interns in the fall to help put on the annual game and ancillary events – but those 11 aren’t nearly enough to produce the show alone. Working behind the scenes on game day, and at every Valero Alamo Bowl event, are some of the Bowl’s over 200 volunteers. From people that have been volunteering since 1993, to folks who just joined the team this season.
Nothing that we do here at the Bowl would be possible without the help of the some of the most dedicated volunteers in the country.
Each year, we do our best to honor our volunteers at our Volunteer Celebration where we give out our Volunteer of the Year Award – an award that has gone without a proper name for years – but not anymore.
At our Volunteer Celebration early in 2019, we’ll be proud to award the Olan and Kathy Phillips Volunteer of the Year award for the first time ever.
Olan and Kathy Phillips began their volunteer journey with the Valero Alamo Bowl in 1994 and supported the Bowl in many facets until a few years ago. Sadly, Olan passed away this past February and the Valero Alamo Bowl decided it was time to put a name to the award that has been awarded to some of our best volunteers for years.
“I was just so honored when they told me that they were naming the award after Olan and myself,” Kathy Phillips said. “It means so much to me. There are so many volunteers that have been doing this since the beginning and are so deserving. It was just so humbling.”
Phillips is right, the Bowl is so lucky to have countless volunteers who volunteer for everything with the Bowl, and have been with us for years, and for them we are so thankful. But part of what makes Kathy, and what made Olan so wonderful, is their humility.
“They would do anything for us and the Bowl,” said Valero Alamo Bowl Vice President of Operations Julie Baker. “They’re such wonderful people and everyone loves them.”
When the dust settles after the 2018 Valero Alamo Bowl, the Kathy and Olan Phillips Volunteer of the Year award will be awarded to an outstanding volunteer, and someone who embodies the passion and love that Olan and Kathy gave to the Bowl for 20+ years.
“My only wish is that Olan were here to see the award given out,” Phillips said. “He would be so proud and honored.”
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it is folks like Kathy and Olan, and all of our other volunteers that we are thankful for and it’s been an honor to work with them over the past 25 years.