Greg R. Takehara has been actively involved with Tourism Cares since the nonprofit’s first volunteer restoration project was held back in 2003. Now a member of the Tourism Cares Board of Directors, Greg is excited that his favorite organization is partnering with Sports Travel and Tours to host a volunteer event at Doubleday Field this summer.
This will be the first time that Sports Travel and Tours, a sports-related travel company owned by Jay Smith, will be working with Tourism Cares, a nonprofit organization that arranges volunteer events to improve tourism-related sites.
“I am certain that with the assistance of our incredible Tourism Cares staff, the Doubleday experience will be a unique and memorable one,” says Greg, who works with Trip Mate, Inc., of Kansas City, Missouri. “Jay Smith has been an ardent supporter of Tourism Cares and will bring his signature spirit in leading this event. The history of Cooperstown is rich, and as a baseball fan, I would highly recommend getting involved.”
The event will take place at Doubleday Field on Friday, June 12. Volunteers will work from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., after which they can relax and have fun with a celebration barbeque and a game of whiffle ball. Other stops on the Going Yard trip include Yankee Stadium and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Greg has participated at over 25 volunteer events with Tourism Cares in iconic locations such as New Orleans, Coney Island, Gettysburg, and Bermuda. The projects he has been involved with range from hurricane cleanup to restoration work.
One of Greg’s most memorable volunteer events that will forever have a place in his heart was a trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.
“We salvaged original bricks from a maritime museum so that it could be reconstructed, and cleaned up so much trash and refuse, while trying at the same time to salvage people’s treasured belongings,” Greg says. “People worked side by side amongst the devastation and words did not even need to be spoken; an incredible bond had formed amongst the group.”
Greg appreciates the camaraderie between volunteers and locals, saying that he has gained many cherished friendships through his work with Tourism Cares. However, Greg says he loves every aspect of the work.
“It is an opportunity to give back to an industry that has given us all a livelihood and endless enjoyment,” Greg says. “We get the chance to preserve and enhance the travel experience for future generations. We share in an unbelievable volunteer experience and at the same time, network with our peers and further discover that travel has no boundaries.”