Helping hands: City of Westfield gets huge assist from volunteers at Colts training camp


As hospitality coordinator for Westfield Welcome, Bailey Spitznagle has a huge job during the Indianapolis Colts training camp. She organizes and schedules the approximately 40 volunteers needed daily for a variety of roles.

The Colts conclude training camp at Grand Park with joint practices with the Chicago Bears Aug. 16-17.

Westfield resident Lori Dubach has performed a variety of roles from volunteering in VIP and information tents and has driven players and families on the golf carts.

“It’s hard not to pick the players on the carts because it’s fun to interact with the players and see them,” Dubach said. “I had Shaquille Leonard (July 30) and he was just delightful and pleasant and really friendly.”

At the July 31 practice, Dubach worked the information tent.

“You get to see lots of people. Sometimes, they have questions and it’s nice to be able to help them out or if they need an assist with a ride to Colts camp,” Dubach said.

Dubach, who has volunteered at camp all five seasons, could only work two days this year because of her duties as a Cherry Tree Elementary School first-grade teacher in Carmel.

Westfield residents Sandy and Bill Kirsch have fun escorting the players.

Sandy said Leonard has become a favorite passenger.

“One year there were people in the way and (Leonard) said, ‘Blow your horn,’” she said. “I said, ‘We’re not allowed to do that.’ So, he said beep all the way to the field. He’s just funny.”

Bill said last year, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. asked him if they got paid and he told them it was all volunteer.

“He said, ‘Maybe they’ll give you tickets to a game,’” Bill said. “I said, ‘We get tickets to a preseason game.’ He said, “Preseason game? They ought to put you guys up in a suite.’ I told him, ‘Why don’t you talk to (Colts owner) Mr. (Jim) Irsay about that.’ I never did hear back from him.”

Last year, Sandy was escorting five linemen when she got a flat tire on the way over to the field.

“I was behind her, and the players in my cart started cracking up,” Bill said. “By the time she got it back from the field, it was smoking.”

Jill Luzckowski, a Westfield resident, said working the VIP Suites entrance is her favorite volunteer role.

“I like to see all the people excited about going in and seeing the Colts,” she said. “I like seeing the little kids come in.”

In previous years, Luzckowski had volunteered for two days each camp, but increased to six days because she retired in January.

Spitznagle sends out a link for the volunteers to sign up for the shifts they want to do.

Michelle Bruce, Westfield, enjoys volunteering at the wristband security entrance, which is for family and friends of players and coaches. She has volunteered every year except 2021 when there were still some COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in place. Training camp was not held at Grand Park in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

“Last year was my first year doing it,” she said.

Bruce said she enjoyed it so much she has 13 shifts in the wristband capacity during training camp. She has previously worked in the ticketing and information tent. She takes time off from her job as an administrative assistant for a privately owned sanitation sewage company in Fishers.

“I love volunteering. It’s rewarding to give back to the city,” said Bruce, who has lived in Westfield for 24 years.

Noblesville resident Rebecca Dixon, who has volunteered all five seasons, likes the ticketing spot because she enjoys the interaction with the public, especially the children.

“I always tell them to run the dash (in the Kids Zone) to see if they can beat my score, and sometimes they come back and tell me what they ran,” she said. “Of course, they always beat me,”

Plenty of planning

On her second day working for the City of Westfield, Bailey Spitznagle learned there were talks of the Indianapolis Colts moving training camp to Grand Park.

“It was announced soon after that the Colts would be coming here in 2018,” she said of the 2017 announcement. “That was super exciting and a little intimidating to think this event is put on by not many of us who work at Grand Park from Westfield Welcome.”

Spitznagle said shortly after training camp ends, Westfield Welcome will start planning for 2024.

“We plan pretty far in advance, but when it gets down to crunch time, about four months ahead of it, we have a lot more meetings,” Spitznagle said. “We try to make sure we have everything in place on our end. I know Grand Park is constantly having meetings with the Colts.”