Saluting Our Own
The Fort Bend County Fair Association held their Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in October. Many committee volunteers were recognized for their dedication and support. Here we spotlight the Committee Chairman of the Year Bobby Poncik and Volunteer of the Year Darren Schmidt. Congratulations to all our volunteers!
2014 Committee Chair of the Year – Bobby Poncik
This huge honor could have been bestowed to several chairpersons this year with so many events going bigger and better than years past. However, there was one person whose call of duty superseceded all expectations and delivered past any challenge with a smile. Bobby Poncik, was named 2014 Committee Chair of the Year, has dedicated himself to the Fort Bend County Fair Association for over 30 years. He has seen it all and heard it all. He is a constant figure in the livestock arenas. Whether it is a lamb judging or a commercial heifer sale…Bobby is there to help. It may be to help catch a runaway goat, keep the livestock classes moving or to settle a dispute, his job often seems endless.
As Livestock Superintendent, he has a tremendous amount of responsibility. The Livestock Committee is a year round commitment and requires a lot of patience. Early tag in times during the summer, Bobby is often first to arrive and more than likely the last to leave. He has been thrown in front of the camera for interviews and has always been found with a smile.
He has always conducted himself in a positive manner and works well under pressure. He is always there to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it. His passion for the Livestock Committee and the youth of Fort Bend County is overwhelming.
While many vital roles contributed to the success of the Livestock events, Bobby Poncik was a pillar of strength in this year’s successes.
2014 Volunteer of the Year – Darren Schmidt
The definition of a volunteer is a person who donates his time or efforts for a cause or organization without being paid.
The definition of a volunteer of the year is a person who goes above and beyond the expectations of the organization and lends a helping hand where needed.
It takes all 1200 volunteers to make this organization run like a fine tuned machine (most of the time anyway) but there was someone who was always available to pick up the slack and make sure that every detail and kink was worked out.
There probably wasn’t one department that wasn’t helped out – whether by a little or a lot by this individual. When most people are still thinking about fun in the sun during the summer, he was here on the weekends starting to help prepare the department’s supply request lists. Everything that was requested ---- from paper clips, doilies, extension cords, 5,000 zip ties was organized and sorted by this individual during the months leading up to the Fair.
In addition to helping organize supplies, during the Fair he made sure every department received their trophies & ribbons to hanging arena box seats signs, running last minute errands, helping repair broken items to name just a few. In addition to everything else, he was the force behind the printing of the majority of Fair Tickets – for life members, committee members, sponsors, queens and even for gates when the main system had some issues.
When most are already home at the end of a fun-filled day at the Fair, he stays around and helps the office lock the gates each and every evening --- which is really the wee hours of the morning.
He began volunteering for the Fair over 25 years ago on the Commercial Heifer Auction Committee. He continues to serve on the Jr Livestock Auction Beverage Committee and the Children’s Tractor Pull Committee.
He was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone who needed assistance. In addition to the numerous hours volunteered for the Fort Bend County Fair, he also assists in the many events we have throughout the year ---- Crawfish Boil, Fishing Tournament, Go Tejano Dance.
Some may think he does all of this because his wife --- Cindy tells him to. I have known him long enough to know that he believes in our organization and he volunteers because he believes in the youth of Fort Bend County.
There is no doubt in my mind that the success of the 2014 Fort Bend County Fair & Rodeo was because of our volunteers and our Volunteer of the Year... Darren Schmidt.