Volunteers Needed for Kids Golf
In just over eight weeks, close to 2,000 Teen and Kid golfers from around the world will converge on our community for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships and Teens Championships.
This is the fourth year that these events have been hosted in our area, and it is great to know that the events continue to grow each year. A staggering statistic for these Championships is that the average stay for these kids' families is close to seven nights, with an estimated four people for every contestant that plays in these events.
This means the area hotel rooms will be full during a time of the year when our visitor rate is slowing because of the summer climate. It also means that our restaurants, retail shops and other businesses will benefit from the economic impact that is even more critical in a year when tourism revenues are down here and across the country because of the national recession.
U.S. Kids Golf World Championships can be a catalyst to help reignite our local tourism economy, as we expect it to generate more than $4 million in local spending this August. To make that happen, though, we need our community's help.
It is a matter of concern that these events are still short some 200 volunteers to assist in the operations for the Championships this year, especially in light of the fact that the major Championships we have hosted in the area over the past two decades have drawn volunteer support in the thousands.
Without the needed volunteer support, our ability to sustain and grow the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships for the future is now in jeopardy.
These Championships should be looked upon as majors each year they are hosted in our community. These kids, ages 6-18, are the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Open champions of tomorrow.
They travel from around the world to experience not only the finest we have to over in golf courses, but also for the community hospitality that only the Pinehurst area can provide.
If we don't treat the events as majors, another community might see this as an opportunity to develop the Kids World Championships for its own benefit. The Home of American Golf needs to be the home of U.S. Kids Golf World Championships this year and for years to come.
A variety of positions are still available for volunteers who are golf-savvy and for the nongolfers as well. There is no fee to volunteer, as with other Championships that have been held in our area, and the benefits of watching these great junior golfers are truly priceless.
If you have already volunteered for this year, we thank you for your continued support. If you have yet to raise your hand, we urge you to be part of a historic event that gets better and better each year. You don't have to be a golfer to be a volunteer, as there are plenty of positions inside the volunteer corps that are hospitality-related. So if you like helping others, we can put you to work.
Imagine what would have happened if the events that Tiger Woods played in as a child hadn't had community support. Let's make every year a Major for the U.S. Kids World Championships for our community and for the kids who have worked so hard to earn the honor to compete in these prestigious events.
This important event needs it, as does our economy, as well as your neighbors whose livelihood is directly connected to tourism here in Moore County. For information on how you can volunteer, contact Pinehurst.com/volunteers.
Caleb Miles is president of the local Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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