Raising bar on snacks

All Tiger athletes benefit from Kelly Acheson’s efforts at Analy

By KERRY BENEFIELD
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Analy High School athletic director Joe Ellwood spends a lot of time on campus. But there is usually one person there nearly as much as he is: Volunteer Kelly Acheson.

Kelly Acheson, who already has a full-time job, ensures Analy High School’s snack bar is stocked and staffed during games. The proceeds from the concession provide critical funds for Tiger athletic programs. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG / The Press Democrat)

Acheson, mother of a current Tiger and a 2011 Analy graduate, spends 25 to 30 hours a week at the Sebastopol campus during peak athletic seasons, running the snack bar and organizing the behind-the-scenes work that makes that operation a success.

“If she is not doing it, she is organizing it,” Ellwood said. “Kelly is the person that does everything. Anything that needs to be done, Kelly is the first one to stand up and say, ‘Here, I’ll do it.’ “

And do it, she does.

Acheson, who has a full-time job as a financial planner, spearheads inventory, food preparation, volunteer schedules and shopping for the Tigers’ snack bar — a job that can keep her busy from 1 p.m. to midnight on a typical Friday night.

Acheson’s gifts are more than inspirational and organizational. She is talented in the culinary arts, expanding the snack bar menu to include baked potatoes, Caesar salad, pulled-pork sandwiches, burritos, veggie burgers and chicken sandwiches, said Joelle Hoffman, a boosters board member.

“I love to cook and I love to see people eat,” Acheson said.

“We have really turned it into a group effort,” Acheson said of snack bar shifts that allow parents to take a turn manning the barbecue while also watching their student-athletes play. “When people leave, they go ‘That was so much fun, I want to do it again.’ “

It might be fun, but Ellwood said the thousands of dollars raised each year by the Analy Boosters through the snack bar, crab feeds, pancake breakfasts and other events are crucial to all Tiger athletic programs.

“I know our athletic program would be in dire need without proceeds from that snack bar,” he said.

Although the bulk of the volunteer push for the snack bar comes during football season, when about 20 people are asked to help run the operation for each game, the proceeds are shared among all Analy teams, Acheson said.

“That’s the big vision this year,” she said. “It’s for all Tigers.”

(Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach her at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter @benefield.)