'Beyond busy' Dean Haas volunteers in many areas
Whether it be blood drives, wrestling tournaments or any other worthy cause, Dean Haas stands ready to lend a hand.
That left Haas very busy recently when a blood drive he was coordinating came at the same time as the NAIA National Women's Wrestling Invitational in Jamestown.
"Beyond busy," he said, when asked about the combination of events during the planning stages in late February. "But I feel you should give back. That's the way my mama raised me."
Haas has a 27-year history of organizing blood drives, has served on the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors for 30 years, the University of Jamestown Board of Trustees for 25 and the Jamestown High School Wrestling Boosters for 17 years.
His time on the board of directors of the Jamestown committee that hosts the NAIA Women's National Wrestling Invitational is a little shorter because the tournament is only in its second year. This year's tournament was cancelled out of concerns for the spread of the coronavirus.
"The wrestling tournament board may continue if the tournament stays in Jamestown," Haas said.
All of these boards take time, he said.
"Each blood drive takes two solid weeks of making phone calls looking for volunteers," Haas said.
That dedication pays off in the amount of blood collected for use in medical emergencies around the region, according to Weldon Roberts, donor recruitment representative for Vitalant.
"He is a powerhouse," Roberts said. "... he is hands on, he is the driving force to get people to roll up their sleeves and give blood."
Haas said he donates blood himself and is "knocking on 300 units" and blood drives he has organized have resulted in 5,000 units of blood being donated.
"The bottom line is, that has helped a lot of people," he said.
Roberts said Haas has recruited 1,159 people who have donated 953 blood products since 2015.
"Volunteers like Dean Haas have saved countless lives by volunteering his time working with community blood drives," he said. "... because of Dean Haas, Jamestown has a higher percentage than national averages of donors."
Haas also played an important part in bringing a national sports tournament to Jamestown.
The inaugural NAIA National Women's Wrestling Invitational was held in Jamestown in March 2019. Plans called for the second annual event in Jamestown in March 2020 which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We had a local organizational committee even before the tournament was awarded," said Sean Johnson, director of athletics at the University of Jamestown. "That committee is a big part of the operations of the tournament and getting the tournament in the first place."
Haas was an important member of that effort, Johnson said.
"As a former collegiate wrestler he helps with the wrestling specific tasks of organizing the tournament," he said, "and he is the Pied Piper of getting people involved in a project. That is a unique dual role."
Jim Klemann, director of annual giving and the Jimmie Booster Club, said it is Haas' energy and personality that makes him important to the Jimmie Booster Club, where he helps organize events such as the Jimmie Scramble golf tournament and the senior banquet.
"An amazing person with absolute energy," he said. "Everybody wants to be his friend. There is just such a great energy about him."
Haas also contributes his organizational skills at work with the Running of the Pink event hosted by his employer, R.M. Stoudt. The Running of the Pink is an annual run and walk raising money for health programs in the Jamestown area.
"That has turned into the biggest road race in Jamestown," he said. "It raises between $25,000 and $30,000 each year which really helps out at the hospital (Jamestown Regional Medical Center)."
With all the events and committees Haas is involved with, he does turn down a few requests.
"I really do have to screen the projects," he said. "I still do a lot of things and the short, easy things I'll put on my plate."
That doesn't mean Haas is planning on stepping back from any of the boards he currently is involved with.
"I'll let people know when I decide to start slowing down," Haas said.
That is good news for the projects that rely on him.
"We appreciate the work he does for us and the community of Jamestown," Klemann said.