This week's volunteer spotlight shines on Dan Thatcher. Since the age of 18, Thatcher has understood and has lived out the definition of service. Even though Thatcher loves football, volunteering at the Hall of Fame is more about helping people walk away with memories rather than a handful of facts and pictures.
Name: Dan Thatcher
Hometown: I grew up on the west side of Columbus, Ohio. I'm a big Buckeyes fan.
Favorite NFL team/Favorite current player: I have no favorite team and no favorite player, but I'm a big enough fan to watch whatever game is on; I don't care who is playing.
Favorite Hall of Famer:
Bart Starr. He probably had the greatest work ethic I've ever seen. He got more out of his ability than any other player.
Why did you decide to volunteer at the Hall of Fame? It's a rare opportunity to serve your community, meet and help visitors from all over the world and have a dang gone good time doing it.
How long have you been volunteering? Three years.
Your favorite artifact on display: The Lombardi Trophy, because that is the ultimate goal of every NFL player and coach.
Your favorite memory of an NFL game: The complete team effort the New York Jets put together in Super Bowl III. They were the distinctive underdogs and Joe Namath had promised a victory. He was bold enough to back it up.
The most distant traveler you've greeted: I've met people from Germany, Hawaii and Alaska, but Japan would be the farthest. Around a half dozen contingents were on a business trip and made a visit here.
Most unusual question you've been asked by a guest: A little school kid asked me, "Where is LeBron James' bust?"
Most famous person you've met:
Commissioner Goodell when he came for the opening of the Super Bowl Gallery. He went around and shook hands and exchanged words with attending guests.
Most memorable moment as a volunteer: A woman came in on behalf of her terminally ill father who always wanted to visit the Hall of Fame but wasn't going to make it. He was a big New York Giants fan. So I helped her find the items he wanted pictures of while he was on the phone directing her where to go and what artifacts to find. It's hard to explain, but it was one of the most touching experiences I've ever had.
Favorite sports movie: Brian's Song
What do you love most about football season? I guess how geared up the fans, retailers and everyone else gets in anticipation for kickoff.
Before the Hall of Fame: I worked for the Timken Company for 41 years in various positions.
Did you know? I have volunteered for different organizations since I was 18. I volunteered mostly as an assistant coach in several sports for the Boys Club. I have also volunteered for United Way, the Wildlife Rehab Center, summer high school baseball leagues, food banks and at Aultman Hospital with my wife.
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