When it came to organizing volunteers for the Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in July, there was one person who was pretty much indispensible: Sharry Addison.

After all, she’s been organizing thousands of volunteers around Cincinnati’s signature events for 30 years: the 1987 World Figure Skating Championships, the 1988 All-Star Game, the Tall Stacks events and the 2012 World Choir Games.

She didn’t plan on being involved in this All-Star Game, but put together an organizational chart for the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I told [President] Dan Lincoln, ‘Here it is. I’m out of it.’ And he said, ” Oh no you’re not,’” she says.

So Addison is co-chairing the All-Star Game Community Organizing Committee with Melanie Chavez, Lauren Bosse and Delores Hargrove-Young. Together, they’re staffing most of the events not handled by MLB outside of Great American Ball Park. 

The July 10-14 All-Star extravaganza, which is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors and have a $60 million economic impact, takes an army of more than 2,000 volunteers.

How did you get involved in organizing volunteers?

I had been responsible for the media credentials for the 1979 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and when they decided to bid on the World’s, I was asked to sit on the big committee with the understanding if we got the event I would co-chair it.

That must have been an overwhelming task.

Well, I first had to learn about ice skating. Then I did a “hunt and peck” of an organizational chart and put together job descriptions. It’s the same chart I’ve always used. I just tweak it a bit, but overall it’s the same chart I started with. Once you get it figured out, it works.

Some 7,800 registered to volunteer for this ASG. What makes Cincinnatians want to volunteer?

Cincinnati is unique in that we have a tremendous volunteer and philanthropic mindset. We are noted around the country for this because of the events we’ve had. One of the reasons MLB selected us is because they were here for the World Choir Games and saw the well-trained volunteer support, our transportation and the city’s reaction. Plus there’s a huge passion for the Reds and baseball in this community.

How is planning for this All-Star Game changed from 1988?

It’s extremely different. We were the first All-Star volunteer team to work with MLB.

We had been working three years on the World Figure Skating Championships and weren’t even completed with that, but it was a lot of fun. I worked directly with [then MLB Commissioner] Peter Ueberroth and three or four of his staff. We did everything, we did all the parties, but it only a two day event. Now there are 40-50 MLB staffers that come per visit. It’s much bigger in size.

You mentioned this is your last time organizing a big event. what will you miss the most?

The people and the relationships. I’ve been very blessed. I’ve spent a lifetime volunteering and met people from all walks of life. I’m a people person and that, to me, is invaluable.