Early Sunday morning (14 December) found me in downtown St. Louis, by Soldiers Memorial, volunteering at the Hot Chocolate Run. This was a pair of road races--15 km and 5 km--through downtown St. Louis, part of a nationwide series and whose proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. I was a course marshal, positioned at the intersection of Tucker Boulevard and Page Avenue. There, I was to direct the runners and make sure onlookers stayed off the course. I was on station for nearly 20 minutes before the first runner appeared. A few appeared in the next 10 minutes, then the great mass of entrants followed. There were approximately 8,000 participants that came through over the course of two hours and I was yelling encouragement at them and ringing a cowbell issued to me and the other volunteers. (On the downside, the cowbell's handle cut into my fingers and I'm still sore there.) After the last runners passed, I was picked up and brought back to the volunteer area for complementary hot chocolate and chocolate fondue. It was a lot of fun (rather mild weather for the date helped) and I would do this again in the future. If you're interested in more about this event, visit http://www.hotchocolate15k.com/stlouis/.
After coming home late that morning and changing, I was at Christian Academy of Greater St. Louis in Maryland Heights that afternoon for a set of four youth futsal games--the first I refereed in the season. These were under 14 girls matches and they generally went well for my partners and I.
Work has been going well. We said goodbye to one of our branch assistant managers, Rachel, as she transferred to a branch up the street. Business has been a bit slow, thanks to the mild weather and lack of snow (until today), but at least we got some good housekeeping work done at the branch. Yesterday, I received my annual review from the branch management--high marks. (My official two-year service anniversary is this Saturday.)
After work on Tuesday (16 December), I helped get Calvary Presbyterian Church's fellowship hall ready for the IPMS/Gateway meeting. It was a full meeting, and included the annual recognition contest (guessing the kit subject from redacted box art), elections for next year's club officers (I was reelected secretary by acclamation) and for the Bob Stroup Award (for outstanding service to the club). We also had our annual Same Kit Contest, and I was among six members who finished a kit of a knight in armor for it. We chose from either the Black Knight of Nurnberg (my selection) or the Red Knight of Vienna. I finished my kit early Tuesday morning before work. It did not win--this was by popular vote of meeting attendees--but it was a nice experience in figure modeling that should be helpful for the future.
While I was at work on Saturday morning (13 Dec.), two IPMS/Gateway officers presented the US Marine Corps Reserve with the club's $550 donation to Toys for Tots in Metro St. Louis. This was at a toy and cash drive held at Gravois Bluffs Shopping Center in Fenton, Missouri. I wrote out a press release later that day announcing our donation and got it posted on stltoday.com. Here's the link: http://interact.stltoday.com/pr/non-profits/PR121314042819722.
Off work today, I have a soccer referee recertification clinic tonight in Fenton. More on that next time.