As a Torch Tour Ambassador this summer, I traveled all over NY state promoting the Empire State Games‘ return to Buffalo. It was basically a month-long PR event that fellow ambassador, Jon McGrath, and I covered 511 miles in 26 days during!
We started in NYC, then hauled our 20 foot trailer to Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo. Tour stops ranged from baseball games and parks, to banks and farmer’s markets. At each event we took free photos of people holding the real Games’ torch and encouraged people to attend the and volunteer at the Games.
The Games were cancelled last year from a lack of funding by the state. First Niagara and WNY businesses banded together to fund the games this year! This was a big deal for Buffalo and we got a lot of media attention along the way.
I was interviewed on tour because I am also a 3-time Games gold medalist in track (800M, 1500M Gold in 2005, 1500M Gold in 2007). Winning helped earn me a full ride to Boston University; the coach saw my ESG results!
The advertising agency, Cenergy, hired me from my internship as a designer. I designed the left half of the display, Developing Champions.
On tour, I maintained a blog that gave a recap of each tour stop. I got to meet all kinds of people on tour. Best summer job ever! A few celebrities I met:
- Steve Mesler, Olympic Gold Medalist on US Four Man Bobsled team
- Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, NBA
- Mike Randall, WKBW Channel 7 Meteorologist
- Jack Quinn, NY Congressman
- John Murphy, Bills Sportscaster
- Byron Brown, Mayor of Buffalo
- John Koelmel, CEO First Niagara Bank