Karen Borchardt has only missed three Packers games at Lambeau Field over the last 29 seasons. However, Borchardt isn’t a longtime season ticket holder, she is a concession stand leader, and her efforts over the years have raised thousands of dollars for a non-profit charity she founded in Green Bay, “Today’s Youth.”
She started serving hot dogs and bratwursts at the stadium when a few of the organizations her children were involved with couldn’t raise funds. Borchardt eventually started her own charitable organization, donating thousands annually to children’s groups, cancer funds for kids, YMCA camps and others.
“I started as a young mother and I’m 60 now, a grandma of three children, but it’s such a good deal for raising money that I don’t want to just throw it away,” Borchardt said. “We get 10 percent of the profits from our concession stand, so we’ve been able to raise anywhere from $600 to $1,000 a game. It just depends on how hungry everyone is. Plus I just love it.”
The Packers and Delaware North Companies Sportservice are looking for more non-profit organizations and other workers to help on game days at Lambeau Field this season. In 2011, 74 non-profit groups raised $1 million.
It’s a program that has also helped Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School in Green Bay for more than a decade. Sheila Olp has been a member of that concession team for the last five years.
“For us, the money stays with our school and church, and it goes to outreach programs, food pantries and materials for education,” she said. “You meet a lot of new people and it’s fun to hear all of the excitement and the roars from the stands.”
Sportservice is seeking 350 to 400 employees to fill game-day concession-stand operations, as well as a variety of part-time seasonal positions, premium dining and catering operations and daily operation of Curly’s Pub.
The need for workers comes from a combination of turnover of groups from previous seasons and the addition of more than 100 points of sale, an initiative to enhance the game-day experience for fans.
Concession areas include fixed and portable stands. Fixed stands generally operate with 10-20 people for eight-hour shifts and portable stands can use three people for five-hour shifts. Payment is based on a commission of gross sales with fixed stands at 10 percent and portable beer-sales stands at five percent. Per-person pay ranges from $12-$18 per hour.
Groups can be as small as three and as large as 100. A training session is required and, for out-of-town groups, Sportservice will travel to their city to conduct the session.
After nearly three decades of service, Borchardt vouches for not only the profits, but for the entertainment value.
“I stand lead, and I’ve been doing that forever,” she said. “I make sure everyone is doing their job correctly. It goes toward helping kids, it’s very rewarding, and the same people come back every year. They all say, ‘Hi, Karen, how are you? When did you change the menu?’”