The Ruston Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to announce the 2019 Hospitality Award recipients are the Dixie Youth World Series Volunteers. The award was presented at the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on Thursday, January 23 at the Ruston Civic Center and accepted by the event’s volunteer coordinator Haley Perot.
The Ruston Sports Complex hosted the 2019 Dixie Youth World Series July 26-August 8. While the event created an impressive economic impact of over $6.2M, a significant part of its success was the help provided and hospitality shown to the 76 teams and 13K spectators by community volunteers.
In 1999, the Ruston Lincoln CVB began to recognize members of the community who make a significant impact on our area and help fulfill the CVB’s mission by honoring them with the Lincoln Parish Hospitality Award. The Ruston Lincoln CVB is honored to be able to present this year’s award to this deserving group of individuals, widely ranged in age, occupation, and background, who showcased the very best of our area.
“The 2019 Dixie Youth Baseball World Series was a magnificent feat for the Ruston Sports Complex’s opening act,” says Travis Napper, Experience Ruston President/CEO. “From the Complex Staff and the City of Ruston Employees to the restaurant, hotel, and shops that welcomed all these guests, it was a tremendous outcome. The great number of World Series Volunteers and their dedication to the execution of the tournament matched with their friendliness provided a memorable experience for so many fans from across the South.”
Accepting the award on the volunteers’ behalf was Haley Perot, volunteer coordinator. Perot prepared the following statement.
I firmly believe what makes a city so wonderful is its residents. As the initial call for volunteers was released, the outpouring of community support was overwhelming. The range in age of volunteers was one of the most critical factors. Our volunteers ranged in age from 6-86 years old. You saw lifelong residents of Ruston reconnect or meet for the first time, supporting a common interest they were unaware they shared. When an entire community supports a venture like the World Series by sacrificing their time, energy, money, and willingness to help, the only possible way to have success. A total of 14 days was spent at our Sports Complex and there wasn’t a single day that I wasn’t stopped at least once to hear praises about the tournament and our community. Genuine, hospitable, helpful, kind, and pleasant were just a handful of words used by ten-year tournament veterans to describe not only the volunteers, but even residents they had met at restaurants or stores. I was often asked during the tournament if we could repeat this success in future towns hosting the tournament. My response was always the same. You can go to any town in any state and recruit volunteers, the key to our success was not the manpower, it was their passion for this community and that, you cannot mimic. You allowed more than 5000 people over a two-week period to make Ruston their home, and did it with unwavering grace and patience, only wanting these visitors to love and appreciate our small community as much as you do. These families that gave up their summers, family vacations, made financial sacrifices, and left jobs behind just to support their child’s passion for a game, felt your warmth and compassion. You should know they were beyond grateful, and at times, brought to tears that their sacrifices were not overlooked, and now because of you Ruston will always hold a special place in their hearts. For that, and so many other countless things, we say THANK YOU! I am beyond grateful to be a member of this one of a kind community.
Amanda is originally from Franklin Parish but has called Ruston home for several years. She has a passion for travel and tourism, event planning, and showcasing Ruston & Lincoln Parish. As the President & CEO, Amanda leads the CVB's sales and marketing efforts to promote the area and oversees all administrative functions of the CVB.