While the smack-talking, chair-throwing, body-slamming, and gut-punching happened in (and out of) the ring at WrestleMania 33, Peoples Gas Orlando Division team members brought their encouraging words and friendly camaraderie to a volunteer effort to clean up the Camping World Stadium parking lot.
And “clean up” means just that (no metaphors here about “banishing enemies”) – it was an epic battle in its own right to collect litter left behind by tens of thousands of fans at one of Florida’s biggest events of the year so far.
“This is the fourth consecutive year Peoples Gas Orlando has partnered with the City of Orlando Families, Parks and Recreation Department to volunteer our services,” said Mike Hannweber, Central Florida Territory Manager. “We’ve performed a variety of tasks in the past, from manning ticket booths at park entrances to planting trees.”
While in most cases they may not devote endless hours to the kind of strength training that would enable then to lift pickup trucks with their bare hands, the Peoples Gas team members’ dedication to the community – on top of their daily commitment to safety and service for customers – might even make their day-to-day lives busier than those of many pro wrestlers.
“This particular event was our third volunteer day this year,” Hannweber continued. “We had a total of 11 volunteers from our Service, Distribution and Meter Reading groups policing the grounds of Camping World Stadium (formerly the Citrus Bowl) prior to the WrestleMania event. As with most events, we weren’t sure where we were going until the day before.”
And as the threats and ultimatums of the wrestlers concluded – along with the roar of the heavy metal guitars on the stadium speakers – there were several unexpected cameos on April 2.
“Our team was certainly surprised to see many of the wrestlers at the site helping with the grounds cleanup,” he said. “As stated in the Miami Herald news story, there were many organizations all working together to complete the task.”
OK, we take back what we said about how busy pro wrestlers are. With the size of something like WrestleMania 33, the scope of the work to restore order afterward was a big enough Undertaker – er, undertaking – that it needed a team effort to succeed. But as with all the ways we constantly strive to bring value to our customers’ lives, we believe in the benefits of collaboration. And with our dedication to health and safety above all, the volunteers made sure none of them ended up in a world of hurt as they calmly and cordially helped litter find its way to trash bags and receptacles.
“I’m very proud of this group of TECO Peoples Gas team members,” Hannweber added. “They represented our company in such a positive way.”