2018 500 Festival Volunteer Awards

2018 500 Festival Volunteer Awards


After an exciting and unforgettable Month of May in 2018, the 500 Festival is excited to share this year’s Volunteer Awards! The 500 Festival relies on 7,000 volunteers to produce some of Indiana’s largest events and programs, and the individuals recognized here are just a few examples of this year’s standout volunteers. Thank you to everyone who helped volunteer in 2018!

2018 Volunteer of the Year | David Kesterson

David Kesterson has volunteered with the 500 Festival for 25 years. He is part of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon committee and takes the lead on shirts and packet pick-up. This year, David took his volunteer responsibilities to another level, going above and beyond while playing an integral role in every 500 Festival event.

2018 New Volunteer of the Year | David Heinekamp

David Heinekamp helped with a number of Study Trips for the Indianapolis 500 & 500 Festival Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was always flexible, learned quickly, was great to work with and the kids loved him. We can’t wait to see him again in 2019!

Unsung Hero | Danielle Shively

Danielle Shively signed up to be a #IndyMini Ambassador in the fall of 2017. After learning more about the 500 Festival’s other events, she jumped on board and volunteered numerous times throughout the spring.

Unsung Hero | Ashley Fleener

Ashley Fleener has volunteered for the IPL 500 Festival Parade for the last few years while leading a team of students from her classes at IUPUI. Her students also help volunteer specifically to aid and assist the Parade’s 12 announcer zones. This year, Ashley and her students were critical in announcer zone operations on Parade morning.

Unsung Hero | Sue Sandefur

Sue Sandefur continued to volunteer at numerous events in 2018. She’s become a consistent volunteer and multiple 500 Festival staff members can attest that Sue always delivers with an AMAZING attitude.

Unsung Hero | Karen Kiefer

Karen Kiefer has also volunteered for a number of years and helps with numerous events. Another example of a dedicated volunteer with an amazing attitude.

Unsung Hero | Staci Finney

Staci Finney has volunteered with the 500 Festival for 15 years. As part of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon committee, Staci leads the charge of organizing the start line. She manages over 100 volunteers to assist with waves, corrals, and more.

Unsung Hero | Herb Treen

Herb Treen has been a volunteer for the IPL 500 Festival Parade for more than 20 years. He is part of the Parade committee and leads the operation front, helping the Parade run as smoothly as possible.

Unsung Hero | Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Hawkins is an alumna of the 2017 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols. In her first year after being a Princess, Amanda helped with multiple events and even led a pit station at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.


Click the button below to learn more about the 500 Festival Volunteer Program, presented by Citizens Energy Group, or to learn about volunteer opportunities.