Volunteers make it happen

When Shellabration brings music legends to Fort Dodge, the people behind the scenes make the show possible

For a few hours Saturday night, Fort Dodge was the heart of rock and roll for Iowa.

Some 6.800 people gathered at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex to hear Sammy Hagar and The Circle, Vince Neil and Wild Ambition.

The crowd that happily listened to Hagar and Neil belt out their signature songs probably had no idea what it took to bring those musicians to Fort Dodge.

Behind the scenes, 514 people worked hard to make the 2019 Shellabration show a success. Most of those people, 443 to be exact, were volunteers.

The vast majority of those volunteers were from Fort Dodge. Nearby towns like Badger, Lake City and Manson were also represented. At least one volunteer came from Garner.

They didn’t just show up to work. Shellabration now functions like a small corporation with specialized teams organized well before show time.

Shellabration is led by a volunteer board with members who dedicate staggering amounts of time to put together a memorable concert for the community. That group starts working on a concert more than a year in advance. In fact, it made an offer to a potential act for the 2020 show before this year’s concert started.

Then there are team leaders who specialize in specific aspects of putting on a concert. Team leaders are in charge of things like operating the front gates and running the beer tents. Team leaders are involved in planning throughout the year, and work about a 10-hour shift on concert day.

The rest of the volunteers do all the myriad chores that need to be done on concert day. They work about five and half hours on that day.

The volunteers spend a lot of time and energy to put on the concert. Some of them are probably using vacation days from work to do so. They get to hear the concert, but their main reward is the satisfaction of knowing that they helped make the whole thing possible.

The Fort Dodge area is lucky to have such volunteers.

So the next time someone cues up a Hagar song on their playlist and remembers what a cool show he put on in Fort Dodge, they ought to remember the 443 volunteers who labored behind the scenes that night.