Each year our volunteers provide an exciting and unforgettable experience to our participants and attendees during the 500 Festival season. The 500 Festival relies on over 3,500 volunteers to come together to produce some of Indiana’s largest events and programs – the individuals recognized below are just a few examples of many of our standout volunteers! Thank you to everyone who committed their time and enthusiasm to volunteer with us in 2019!
2019 Volunteer of the Year | John Gremling
John Gremling has been volunteering with the 500 Festival for over 10 years. John is an integral part of the 500 Festival team – John supports almost every event and program, introduces new volunteers and even sets up along with the team at 2:00am.
2019 New Volunteer of the Year | Murphee Pellman
Murphee Pellman assisted in forming a pit stations for the 6 and 10 Miler at the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy and OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. As a new volunteer this year, she not only immersed herself, but also introduced new volunteers along the way.
Unsung Hero | William Ashby
William Ashby is an advocate for our Indianapolis 500 & 500 Festival Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health! This past season, he joined us for 6 Mobile Trips throughout the state and 12 Study Trips at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His passion for the history and traditions of the track radiates.
Unsung Hero | Linda Bauknecht & Steve Bauknecht
Linda & Steve Bauknecht are duo who volunteer for nearly every 500 Festival event! The happy couple volunteers at every Family Fun Night, nearly every 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education April Study Trip, the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo, OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and IPL 500 Festival Parade. They are always flexible and happy to be at every volunteer opportunity!
Unsung Hero | Rise Cogswell
Rise Cogswell has been volunteering with the 500 Festival over 10 years. This past year, Rise volunteered for every major 500 Festival event, including the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy, OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and IPL 500 Festival Parade. Rise delivers a radiating positive attitude at each and every event.
Unsung Hero | Steve Elsten
Steve Elsten is a volunteer, OneAmerica employee and 500 Festival Steering Committee member. Steve assisted the communication and volunteer efforts between the 500 Festival and OneAmerica employees this past season! Steve was always willing to go above and beyond in distributing shirts and answering questions that OneAmerica employees may have had about the 500 Festival.
Unsung Hero | David Kesterson
David Kesterson has been volunteering with the 500 Festival for over 25 years! He is an integral part of the 500 Festival team and supports the team in various ways! Always willing to take any role – big or small, we appreciate all of his hard work, whether at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festivals Kids’ Day.
Unsung Hero | Lori Pearson
Lori Pearson was a previous Mini-Marathon participant turned volunteer! As a first time volunteer this year, she took time to volunteer for both the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program and IPL 500 Festival Parade. Along with those two opportunities, she presented these opportunities to co-workers and friends.
Unsung Hero | Scott Splichal
Scott Splichal is an exceptional volunteer, always willing to go above and beyond in each and every volunteer position. This year, he learned about our 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health’s March Mobile Trips and decided to travel throughout Indiana for over 5 trips.