Volunteers help run Jamie Farr tourneyWritten by Betsy Woodruff | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year, more than 1,100 people volunteer to help run the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic hosted at Highland Meadows Golf Club.
They are standard bearers, walking scorers, marshals, runners, green reporters, area captains and more. Some take a week off work so they can help with the tournament. Others bring their kids.
Many have been volunteering for five, 10, or 15 years. Some have volunteered at all 26 classics. The youngest volunteers are 8 years old and the oldest are in their 80s. The volunteers have to pay. Being an on-course volunteer costs $55, which covers the cost of the uniform. Off-course volunteers pay $12 for a T-shirt and hat.
“You pay to volunteer, that’s the funny part about it,” said longtime volunteer Bob Standriff, adding that they get access to the lounging tent. “For the 55 bucks, it’s well worth it. With the hat and shirt, you’re a happy camper.”
Standriff has volunteered at the classic for 12 years. He began because he was a member of the Old Newsboys, a charity to which the classic donated some of its proceeds. Jamie Farr is a lifetime member of the group.
“Jamie Farr is just a tremendous guy,” Standriff said.
Standriff is a retired public school teacher and administrator, and works at the tournament for the entire week, which he said he enjoys. He began as a marshal and later became a hole captain, making sure marshals are placed along the fairway and around the green to keep spectators quiet during the golfing.
“The job of the marshals is crowd control, really, to make sure people aren’t yelling and screaming when one of the golfers is getting ready to hit,” he said.
Dave Lick, another member of the Old Newsboys who has been volunteering for about 12 years, is an area captain. He supervises five to six holes, making sure they have enough people and are being properly run.
“It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but I’ve always enjoyed it,” he said.
Standriff likes getting a close view of what’s going on and moving from hole to hole, he said, adding that last year’s tournament was especially exciting because one competitor eagled, or came in 2 under par, to tie for the lead at the hole where he was working.
“You don’t see a lot of eagles,” he said.
Heather Warga, the volunteer coordinator, said that tournament coordinators are always recruiting volunteers. They solicit people by word-of-mouth through other volunteers and have a speaker’s bureau that visits a variety of organizations, including the Lion’s Club, to let people know about volunteer opportunities. She said that while many of the volunteers are drawn to the tournament because of their love of golf, others help because the classic gives so much money to charity.
Volunteering is a lot of fun, she said.
“It’s kind of like an annual rite of summer,” Warga said. “They’re joying themselves, or otherwise they wouldn’t keep coming back.”