By NICHOLAS SAKELARIS
Texas Motor Speedway became one of the largest vaccination hubs in the country as healthcare professionals administered nearly 30,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine over three days this week.
Hundreds of volunteers assisted frontline workers to help with traffic control and other tasks that needed to get done to ensure that the event went smoothly. Denton County Judge Andy Eads said the scale and logistics of the event prompted him and county commissioners to think big. So when it came to how to feed hundreds of people quickly and efficiently, they thought of CoServ's Snackin' Wagon.
“When we realized we were going to have this large of an event with this many personnel on site, we called CoServ,” he said, “And of course you all came to assist by providing the Snackin’ Wagon with lunches, breakfast, drinks and snacks to help out not only our personnel but our volunteers.”
On Tuesday, CoServ’s Community Engagement Team cooked hot dogs for the army of firefighters, paramedics, nurses and other medical professional as well as volunteers who came to help. On Wednesday, a group of CoServ Employees stayed up all night to smoke enough pulled pork for Thursday's vaccination event. Then, Thursday night, they worked throughout the night to cook enough sliced beef to make hundreds of cheesesteak sandwiches.
By the numbers, CoServ served about:
- 750 hot dogs on Tuesday
- 600 pulled pork sandwiches
- 375 cheesesteak sandwiches
Vicki Sargent, Director of Community Engagement, said CoServ’s leadership team didn’t hesitate to respond to the request for assistance – and quickly gathered the necessary personnel and food.
“They told us that would make a big difference in getting and retaining volunteers,” Vicki said. “This was a great opportunity for us to be out and make a difference but also be safe.”
As she watched the steady stream of vehicles make their way through the registration tent and, ultimately, the vaccination hub, Vicki said she was blessed to be involved in something so historic.
“Every one of those people going through there is one step closer to keeping themselves, their families and their communities safe,” Vicki said. “The more people who are safe, the sooner businesses can thrive again.”
A lot of planning and coordination was involved to make the event successful, but the efficiency of the event showed the effort was worth it.
“We’re going so fast that it’s less than 30 minutes from when you drive in to when you leave – and that also includes the 15-minute post vaccination observation period,” Judge Eads said.
He added that Denton County Public Health will conduct more vaccinations clinics at TMS in the coming weeks as they receive more doses, including giving the people from this week their second dose in about a month. CoServ Employees and the Snackin' Wagon stand ready to donate their time and food when needed.
CoServ and TMS became community partners earlier this year with hopes of doing race promotions and other perks, including using the expansive parking lots at the racetrack as a staging area for CoServ’s Operations crews in case of an areawide disaster.
But the partnership has proved to be more valuable than anyone could have anticipated before the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, CoServ helped sponsor high school graduations at TMS where an estimated 13,500 seniors from 32 high schools got their diplomas at the finish line.
“It’s just another reminder of how valuable CoServ’s community partnerships are,” Vicki said. “We cheer each other on when we win, we lift each other up when we’re down, and we help each other out where we can.”
For COVID-19 resources, including links to vaccine details, please click here.