Close your eyes and think of a small-town county fair … the smell of funnel cake, the roar of a tractor pull, and the pride in the eyes of a teenager with a blue-ribbon calf.
Now, think of the people who give their time and energy to make those all-American events a highlight of every summer.
Mark Buck is one such volunteer. Mark, a transportation mechanic leader at PPL’s Montoursville Service Center, is a board member of the Montour DeLong Community Fair. It’s been held every year since 1935 in the Washingtonville area.
For a week every summer – as late July turns to early August – you’ll find Mark at the fair. Most often he cleans up trash in the morning; at night he works the parking lot or runs the French fry stand.
Between September and April, when the fair is packed up and closed for the season, you’ll also find him cutting, breading and cooking fish at monthly fish fries that serve as the fair’s principal money-raisers. A typical four-hour fish fry can draw 1,000 people.
Mark has been volunteering at the fair for about 10 years, but his roots go back much further than that.
“When I was younger, I used to go to the fair a lot for 4-H,” he said. “I support the fair because it helps the youth of the community. I don’t want to see the fair die out, and it’s all volunteer-run, so I wanted to do my part to support it.”
While the fair is Mark’s biggest community commitment, it’s not his only one. He also volunteers as scorekeeper for the girls’ lacrosse team at Danville Area High School. That brings a three-games-a-week workload to his spring schedule, but he does it to support his daughter, who plays on the team.
Does Mark ever take a break from his busy schedule? Well, when the fair’s going on, he sets aside one work-free night each year just to walk around and enjoy the event.
Head out to the fair this summer, and maybe you’ll run into him, checking the results of the baking contests or watching the night’s musical entertainment.
Stay tuned to PPL Stories for more stories of PPL Electric Utilities employees’ service to their communities.