Volunteer Spotlight: A.J. Dinkel

A.J. Dinkel started volunteering with the Wabash Valley Race for the Cure committee in 2017. He had worked with Tammy, our Wabash Valley Community Manager, on other projects for the local theatre so when she asked for his help, he answered the call.

“I was raised around people in public service,” said A.J., who won a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce award earlier this year. “I think it’s important that everyone do what they can to make the community a better place for others and ourselves.”

A.J. was asked to help with logistics for the Race course, which he says was completely outside anything he’s done before. He managed street closures, secured volunteers to line the course, coordinated with police on safety matters, planned the layout of the Meadows Shopping Center and even designed the site map.

Fortunately for us, A.J. lives close to the event site and the Komen Wabash Valley office. He volunteered an estimated 100 hours to make the 2017 Wabash Valley Race a success!

Thinking back to October 7, he remembers 6 am – 9 am flew by as he worked to get roads closed off and prepare the Race course for hundreds of walkers and runners.  

“Those three hours felt like 15 minutes,” he laughed. “I drove around closing streets and when I came back to the Meadows, everyone was there! It was awesome to see all those people come out.”

A.J. says one of his favorite Komen memories was seeing Kyle Vannoni and his team arrive at the Meadows after completing a 100-mile bike ride in honor of loved ones who died from breast cancer.

“Seeing that literally gave me chills,” A.J. said. “It’s so cool to see how involved Kyle has been and how much he cares about the organization. It’s almost surreal.”

A.J. admits his role on the Race committee was a lot of work and stressful at times, but says it was a lot of fun too.

“Volunteering for the Race has been a really great experience, especially seeing everyone come together in October to battle cancer,” he said. “We’re not a huge committee, but we’re a committee of really dedicated people.”  

Thanks to our committed supporters, including A.J., we exceeded our fundraising goal for the 2017 Wabash Valley Race, raising more than $80,000 to support the Komen mission.

A.J. is a Terre Haute native and a technical director for the theatre department at St. Mary of the Woods College.

We’re thrilled to hear A.J. plans to return to help us plan the 2018 Wabash Valley Race for the Cure, which is slated for Saturday, October 6.

From the whole Komen Central Indiana family, thank you for your contributions! You truly make a difference.

Interested in getting involved as a volunteer? Learn more about opportunities and how to get started.