It’s hard to imagine what goes into the process of running a successful bout. Our skaters are obviously a huge part of it but many people don’t realize what it takes to set up and clean up a bout, and also what it takes to keep those fans in the stands happy.
Well, Humboldt Roller Derby concessions volunteer Kate Shea Ortiz knows exactly what it takes. On top of being a mother of two, Kate has spent countless hours not only filling in for every bout job possible but also building relationships with food, beer, drink and ice vendors to ensure that our bouts are run seamlessly. On bout days Kate spends hours running around picking up food, beer, and all of the supplies needed to keep concessions full. Kate usually spends at least eight hours working on bout days and at the end of it all, she often heads home late at night and washes all of the soggy beer-soaked towels. Now that’s dedication!
Even at the busiest bouts, Kate works through the night with a smile on her face. A fellow volunteer states, “Given almost any situation, she can calmly figure out a solution or a work-around. She doesn’t get flustered. She simply moves forward.” Between all of the running around and the training of two beer tables worth of volunteers, she always seems to find another way to offer her assistance. In fact, at a past bout an entire concessions crew didn’t show up at the last minute. Despite the major blunder, Kate calmly moved forward and gathered a group of untrained volunteers to the fill the positions. By the end of the night you never would have known it had happened. Kate is always able to see a problem from various perspectives, come up with solutions, and make everybody feel great while she’s doing it.
Kate’s doesn’t offer her hard work just at the bouts themselves. Behind scenes, Kate handles the concessions invoices to ensure that vendors get paid and that bouts are fun and profitable. On top of dedicating hours of her time to Humboldt Roller Derby, she also works with the Humboldt Area Foundation, the McLean Foundation, and she is currently working for The California Endowment. Kate works with these community groups to help them organize their ideas into fundable strategies that improve the community, much like she does for Humboldt Roller Derby. Kate’s experience in community building is what makes her passionate about what she does and it truly shows.
One fellow volunteer states, “Kate is an unsung hero of Humboldt Roller Derby”. Well Kate, we are proud to say that you truly are our hero and you deserve the recognition! Humboldt Roller Derby might be in a serious rut without you. Thank you for your time and dedication.