For Immediate Release
Date January 30, 2018
Contact: Hailie Pease (208) 908-8348
Simplot Games Volunteers Make it Happen
2018 Molinelli’s Jewelers Distinguished Service Awards
Pocatello, Idaho – The success of Simplot Games is a direct result of the many loyal volunteers who have donated their time and expertise year after year. For their years of loyalty and dedication, the Simplot Games Board of Directors and Molinelli’s Jewelers are proud to recognize four distinguished volunteers and present them with a special Simplot Games watch.
From competing in the first Bennion Games before they became the Simplot Games, to watching his children run in Simplot Games, to volunteering for the past 22 years, Paul Chase is no stranger to the excitement that fills Holt Arena each February. Starting in 1996, Chase took up a spot as a finish line timer. In 1999, he moved to announcing over the loud speakers, where he can still be heard today. Before recently retiring, Chase held an assortment of positions in the Blackfoot and Pocatello School Districts. He taught government and U.S. history, acted as a social studies department chair, coached various sports, and was the home team announcer for Century High School basketball and football games as well as the announcer for the past 20 years of state wrestling tournaments. In his time volunteering for Simplot Games, Chase has enjoyed working with the dedicated volunteers from the Pocatello community, Simplot Company, and Idaho State University, as well as getting to know the Olympians that regularly attend.
To Brian Bieda, Simplot Games is an experience for all. With both of his children born during his years volunteering for Simplot Games, he enjoys bringing them to the Games where they watch the competition and eagerly wait for the last race to finish so they can run on the fast track. Bieda appreciates that the excitement extends to everyone. “I love when the entire arena erupts and spectators rise as one, regardless of affiliation, while a competitor gives everything they have to set a new record or personal best,” he said. Bieda has volunteered for Simplot Games since 2010 and can be recognized as the voice that announces awards and distance preliminaries. Beyond Simplot Games, Bieda works for Mountain View Middle School in Blackfoot as a P.E. and health teacher.
Brian Blad has been the mayor of Pocatello since 2010, but his affiliation with Simplot Games stretches back to when he was a high school competitor in the event. In 2001, Blad started volunteering for Simplot Games and has filled many roles across Holt Arena’s track and field over the years. He now serves as an umpire where he watches for infractions during running events and ensures the competition is fair. Blad has numerous fond memories of Simplot Games, but specifically stated, “It’s been a pleasure meeting the Olympic athletes over the years. Each of them have a unique story, and they are all so inspiring.”
Peter Herdt has been volunteering at Simplot Games since 1981, and while he is willing to help wherever he is needed, he is most often found at the throwing pit, where he officiates the shot put and weight throw events. A Boston native, Herdt came to Idaho State University to compete in football and track and field. He worked for J.R. Simplot Company for 31 years, as a laborer and production supervisor. After he retired at age 55, he took a year off before becoming a small business owner in Pocatello. Herdt is a three-time world champion and a five-time national champion in the master class for the bench press in competitive power lifting. He was also an NCAA track official in 2005. Herdt continues to volunteer at Simplot Games because he loves to support the athletes and help them enjoy the event.
More than 2,100 athletes will come from across the U.S., Canada and Australia to participate in the 40th annual Simplot Games. Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.
For more information on Simplot Games, please visit our website at www.simplotgames.com. You may also contact Lisa Woodland at (208) 235-5604 or Simplot Games Media Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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