No golf experience necessary to volunteer at an LPGA tournament in Midland next month

Hundreds of people have already stepped up to help out with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (GLBI), set for July 12 – 17 at the Midland Country Club, but more volunteers are still needed. Organizers say being a golf enthusiast isn’t necessary. The only requirement is the willingness to lend a hand.

This is the second time the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) tournament is being played in the region, and will bring some 144 of the world’s best golfers into the area. The golf event is only part of the weeklong event, which also provides service opportunities and youth events.

72 LPGA teams joined 36 local nonprofits for the #TeamUp event during the 2019 tournament.Cameron Wing, a spokesperson for Eiger Marketing of Midland, says the Dow GLBI is looking for over 1,000 people to fill shifts in all areas of the tournament. Volunteers are needed for everything from food services and marshals to ambassadors. There are opportunities for youth from 13 to 18 years old, as well as adults.

“The biggest thing for people to remember is that golf volunteers don’t need to know anything about golf,” Wing says, adding, “People don’t need to know the rules, or even enjoy golf.”

Instead, organizers are looking for volunteers who want to help at a community event. Volunteers already signed up come from five different states and 70 cities in Michigan including Bay City, Midland, Saginaw, and Mount Pleasant.

The 2019 DGLBI was a green event, with an app over printed materials and plenty of recycling stations on the course.A list of volunteer opportunities is available at dowglbi.com. The website also includes a frequently-asked-questions section about how to sign up to help with any of the over 30 committees this year.

While they’re working, volunteers will be earning benefits for their home communities. Between the LPGA and local organizations, over $500,000 is donated back to the local community, Wing says. 

Each teen who helps out, for example, earns $15 for a school program of his or her choice, Wing says. Whether teens choose robotics or sports, music or STEM, schools stand to benefit when students volunteer.

Some 59 local community organizations were supported during the last GLBI, and nine athletes from the Michigan Special Olympics were able to play golf at the Midland Country Club as a result of volunteer efforts.

Volunteers also reap wellness benefits from the event. Wing says the event promotes a program called Step Up for Healthy Living Challenge. In 2019, the last year the tournament was held, nearly 1,500 people participated, logging over 28 million steps.

There is also an positive impact on the environment, Wing says. One of the volunteer committees is called “The Green Team,” which helps spectators and visitors find sustainable ways to enjoy the GLBI. In 2019, the Midland Country Club received certification through the GEO Foundation, and efforts this year will go toward renewing that recognition.

LPGA player Jennifer Kupcho walks off the course with a smile during the 2019 tournament.This year, Green Team volunteers have any number of jobs including helping the spectators locate the right place to toss trash and recyclables, overseeing the bike parking area near the front of the course, and making suggestions about overall best practices to be more sustainable. 

“Green Team volunteers play a special role in that they help educate and execute the tournaments’ sustainability efforts,” Wing says.

Although in 2019 the inaugural Dow GLBI became the first fully GEO Certified® sustainable tournament on the LPGA Tour, Wing says this year the tournament will host a Sustainability Summit in an effort to draw fresh ideas around sustainability at the course.

“We plan on improving on our efforts in 2019, to achieve GEO certification again in 2021,” he says.

Find more details on this year’s Dow GLBI on Facebook, at dowglbi.com, or by contacting Wing at cwing@eigermarketing.com. Eiger Marketing is handling much of the publicity for the LPGA Tournament and activities surrounding the event.
 
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