Volunteers are essential to any AJGA event and often contribute to a positive tournament experience for players, parents and staff alike. At the Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation, no one knows this more than community-advocate Joan Madsen, who tackled the role of volunteer chair for the third consecutive year. Her long-standing relationship with the AJGA started in 2009 when Tournament Director Rachel Graves was looking for volunteers and happened to be directed to Joan. From then forward, Joan and Rachel have communicated regularly via email and phone calls to coordinate volunteers for the yearly Preseason event. Through phone calls, emails and one-on-one conversations, Joan recruited over 50 volunteers per day for last weekend’s event. Even Joan’s husband, Walt, was in the volunteer mix, given the job of shuttling juniors and delivering lunches to staff and volunteers on the course.
Along with volunteering their time for the tournament, the Madsens open their home each year to AJGA staff. I was able to stay with them during the week and was met with a freshly-brewed cup of coffee or glass of orange juice each morning and conversation about the tournament and our lives each evening. In addition to offering up her own extra rooms, Joan found volunteers to house all the staff for the week and scheduled two dinners for the group at homes in the community. It was nice to have a taste of home while out on the road!
(pictured above: The Madsens with Spring Staff Member Meghan Almaas)
This hospitality extends to each volunteer on the course, with Joan knowing about 95% of them through various community-related functions and simply taking her morning jogs around the neighborhood. Keeping people involved year after year is one of her goals. When talking to a volunteer or group of volunteers here at St. James Plantation, you can feel the loyalty and dedication to the community, whether through camaraderie or conversations about past volunteering experiences. This kind of attitude from our invaluable volunteers makes a difference for all staff, juniors and parents involved.
Witten by: Meghan Almaas, Spring Staff Member