The Friendly Church On The Hill - 2749 Fairview, Warren
Bolindale Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
WELCOME TO YOUR CHURCH FAMILY
HERE'S WHERE WE ARE
Volunteers keep traffic moving
July 18, 2015
By BOB COUPLAND , Tribune Chronicle
BAZETTA - Finding a parking space at the Trumbull County Fair can be either easy or challenging, depending on the time of day.
Helping motorists find spots this week are 22 members of the Bolindale Christian Church in Howland.
Chuck Mackey of Howland said his pastor, Ray Blasko, lined up church members and other volunteers.
''Some of us are doing 12-hour shifts," Mackey said on Friday morning as traffic trickled in. "We are doing the parking for the entire fair each day.''
Church member Haylee Huffman, 14, of Cortland, a student at Lakeview High School, earned community service hours for school by helping direct traffic. She's worked each day starting in the morning until 4 p.m.
''The church needed help and I need the hours, so I agreed," said Huffman, who needed to log 10 hours of community service. "I get to help people with their questions and tell them where to park even though I am younger than most of them.''
Helping at the nearby ticket booths and gates were members of the Champion Christian Church.
Mackey said to prepare for the parking detail he and four other members of the church spent Monday evening riding around in the golf cars through the fairgrounds parking lots with fair board members.
''We checked out the parking lots. Monday the parking lots were fine but after the rain on Tuesday they got really soggy and soft,'' he said.
When the traffic gets heavy from 4 to 8 p.m., Mackey said they get people waving orange flags in each row directing people to open and non-muddy spots. When there are no more spaces, the volunteers cone the area off until they get cars out.
''We had some problems getting people into the handicapped area with so many cars. We get some people who get very anxious to get parked,'' he said.
Mackey said the group from the church includes many retirees who can work different shifts at the fair or those who after work come later.
All volunteers wear reflective, brightly colored vests and have bright orange flags.
Julie Marinkovich, a member of the church, said the rain Tuesday made parking a little more challenging.
''We had to get people to the dry parking spots. We had some big gaps in the parking lot because it was so muddy in some places,'' she said.
Diane Martin of Fort Meyers, Fla. and formerly of Bristol, has a Sno-cone concession stand at the fair and said she appreciates the volunteers helping her find a close parking space.
''They are hard workers. They do well. We like to get close to the gate because at 11 p.m. at night, I don't want to walk all the way down to the end of the lot,'' she said.
Mackey said he has fun watching people in the parking lot, including a father and his 4-year-old son who was wearing big rubber boots when he walked into a big mud puddle.
''The father is walking on the dry lane and the little boy walks all the way to the gate in the muddy area. He was having fun slopping down that mud puddle. I heard his dad tell him to get out of the mud and the little boy told him he was washing the mud off his boots,'' Mackey said.
He said he and the other volunteers sometimes help people carry items to their vehicles.
''This one little boy won a rabbit and was trying to carry it in a big cage to his car,'' Mackey said.
At the end of each day, the volunteers get together to discuss any issues and how they can improve or doing things differently.
''It has been an interesting experience,'' he said.
Mackey said the permanent parking passes are the best deal since people can come and go as they need and always have a space to come back to.