Volunteers Make Classic Possible

Jul 11, 2017

The professional golfers get all the attention, but this week's John Deere Classic would not be possible without hundreds of volunteers - selling tickets, parking cars, and driving shuttle buses. 

One of those "hundreds" of volunteers is Bill Coopman, a retired Deere employee, who works each year with retired phone company employees on the tele-communications committee. They work for 2 to 2 1/2 weeks each year making sure all the telephones, laptops, cameras, and other equipment are connected. 

"Once the tournament starts, we're like firemen sitting around the firehouse waiting for something to break - a circuit go bad, maybe a connection if it's raining hard didn't get waterproofed properly."

One of their biggest jobs each year is to set up the press room, in what's usually the garage for all the golf carts. But they can't start setting it up until the Sunday morning before tournament week.

"I think there are a number of people out there like me that don't play golf but just feel they want to be involved, and the tournament needs volunteers to operate."

He estimates that he and members of his committee put in at least 100 hours each preparing for the John Deere Classic, and beginning next Sunday afternoon, putting away their equipment until next year.

Coopman and his wife have both been volunteering for the tournament for about ten years, she sells tickets.