AFROTC Earns Their Paycheck
On the weekend of April 17-18, 2010, 83 cadets from AFROTC Detachment 685 worked at a fundraiser event that earned them over $5,000, almost half of their extracurricular budget for the entire academic year. The cadets worked for the Oregon State University volleyball department as helpers at a state-wide volleyball tournament held on the OSU campus. Over 200 volleyball teams made up of teenagers from across Oregon and SW Washington came to OSU for the weekend to compete in the Columbia Empire Volleyball Association regional volleyball tournament.
AFROTC cadets working at the event put in over 900 man-hours of work in the five days leading up to and including that weekend. They performed a variety of tasks such as assembling and disassembling 14 temporary volleyball courts in the Truax covered football field, giving directions to lost motorists in the parking lots, cleaning up after the 3000+ attendees, and collecting scores after each game throughout the day.
Cadets worked together in shifts each day to distribute the workload, but some still chose to work 12+ hour shifts each day. Their incentive was the promise of a free pair of Asics running shoes to the top 20 cadets with the most hours, donated by Asics, the sponsor of the event. In addition to free shoes, Asics provided 100 customized t-shirts to the corps of cadets in appreciation for their hard work.
The event was one of only two fundraisers held by the cadets this year. The second was another volleyball tournament at OSU on the weekend of May 7-8, 2010, called the Willamette Volleyball Classic. It was similar in scope to the first tournament, and yielded the cadets another $5,000 in spending money. The cadets use the money throughout the year to fund extracurricular events like paintball games, snowboarding trips, barbecue dinners, destination drill competitions, and Arnold Air Society community service, and to keep the snack bar fully stocked in the cadet headquarters.
This was the fourth year in a row that the OSU volleyball department employed the cadets of AFROTC Det 685 to work at the annual volleyball tournaments. Each year, the cadets exercise the project management skills they learned in their Aerospace Studies curriculum to plan, coordinate, and execute the labor for the events. It is a win-win-win situation: the volleyball department gets the competent help they need to hold the massive tournaments, the AFROTC seniors get the project management skills they will use as new lieutenants, and the underclassmen get a sizable chunk of money to spend on morale events for the next year!