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The Volunteers Behind the Scenes at the Memorial Tournament

Every year the Memorial Tournament rolls around and the golf enthusiasts of Central Ohio get swept up in the excitement. And why shouldn’t they? The Memorial offers a unique opportunity for Central Ohioans to see their favorite professional players up close and also has a significant economic impact on Dublin.

However, without the regular people who volunteer their time to putting on the tournament it would not be the great spectacle it is today. From manning the concessions stands to driving the courtesy shuttles to displaying the scores, the tournament counts on the volunteers to do a significant amount of the behind the scenes work.

photo provided by http://www.thememorialtournament.com/

photo provided by http://www.thememorialtournament.com/

The volunteers can begin signing up for any of 16 different volunteer committees in February on the Memorial Tournament’s website.  A few of the committees have a few specific requirements that their volunteers must meet, but most only require that the volunteers be 18 years of age or older or volunteer with a parent.  However, some committees, such as the Sandwich Factory, are more popular and therefore are very competitive to get into.

As an incentive, the volunteers are all awarded 2 full week tickets to the tournament after working for at least 12 hours. In addition, volunteers can also opt to have a donation made to Children’s Hospital in their name based on how many hours they work.  Betsy McCollum, a Dublin resident who has been volunteering for 15 years, first heard about the option when her children were at Children’s.  “It’s an easy commitment and it does so much good for the community”, McCollum said.

With or without the incentive, everyone has their own reason for volunteering.  Some, like 1st year volunteer Lon Vickers, just enjoy interacting with people.“I consider myself to be a real people person”, said Vickers, who was a Vice President for Student Affairs at Marietta College and worked in higher education for 42 years. “Plus a part is just giving back to the community in anyway I can.”

Others, like Terre Hanson enjoy being able to work on the course and be close to the action.  “I get to help, be somewhere that I love, and be around people who like the same things,” said Hanson, a 4th year volunteer and mother of 4 currently working in the Sandwich Factory.  “And I get tickets, which is a bonus.”

Whatever their reasons, their contribution goes a long way to making the tournament possible and contributing to both their community and Children’s Hospital.