Volunteers are the backbone of the Tournament. And the fact that so many are willing to come back year after year is why this Tournament runs so smoothly.
In an effort to acknowledge just how important these people are, the Tournament’s Board of Directors has established two new awards to be given annually in memory of two outstanding volunteers who exemplified the very best of the volunteer spirit.
The women’s award will be given in memory of Elke Maney. Elke began volunteering in 1981. Her first assignment was in Security where she joined her husband, Bob. “I went out on the course and she ran the trailer,” says Bob. “She handled scheduling for 100 to 120 people and was invaluable to me.” Over the years Elke, who was also active in Women of Rotary, took on a variety of responsibilities – but she always helped out in Security when she could. “She was very much a people person,” says Bob, “everybody loved her. And she was devoted to raising as much money as possible for the camps.” Elke remains a shinning star among our volunteers and we are saddened by her death last year.
The men’s award will be given in memory of Bob Clinger. Bob, a Rotarian, became involved in the Tournament in 1980, the first year he lived in Rochester. From his “humble” beginnings working in the concession tent alongside his wife, Bob soon became indispensable to the Tournament and Rochester Rotary. As Director of Marketing he is remembered for initiating the Million Dollar Hole-in-One Contest. “He worked tirelessly on that,” says his wife Sue. He also served as Vice President of Disabled Children. “He was devoted to Rotary and the principles of Rotary,” she adds. “The camps were a big part of that.” Bob passed away in 1998 at the age of 60.
The awards are made to a volunteer who, for the prior five years, has served and is currently serving the Tournament. The eligible candidates include any volunteer meeting this criteria who is not an officer of the Board of Directors of Disabled Children of Monroe County.
Choosing only two – or three – was extremely difficult. Nominees included (women) Lynda Newman, Terry Comins, Jan Shrier, Karen Tait, Joanette Edgar, Rosemary Ksiazek, Dianne Ford, Eileen Wurzer, Gail Lyle and Joan McCune; (men) Peter Kelderhouse, Jerry Herring, Charlie Zahn, Dick Weinberger, Dick Wood, Chuck Meisenzahl, Rich Comins, Dave Hartney, Don Deming, Cort Fowler, Volney Frankel, Tom Bates, Jerry Janas Jr., Fred Hermansen, Dick Welles and Ross Willink.
There was a tie. This year’s Elke Maney Award has co-winners. They are Karen Tait and Jan Shrier. Karen, originally a Locust Hill member, has been involved with the Tournament since its inception as the Bankers Trust. She has been a part of almost every job in the Tournament Office over the years and has done Player’s Hospitality and Registration as well as pinch-hitting in Scoring. Her present responsibilities include co-chairing the Hole-in-One and troubleshooting in the Tournament office. Her constant good humor and willingness to do any and every task makes her one of the most important volunteers in the Tournament. When she and Jim retire to Florida next year, she will be sorely missed.
Jan Shrier’s involvement with the Tournament began with her first husband, Bruce Proper, as Brighton Rotarians. She has been involved with the coordination of Hospitality, Transportation and Private Housing for the Pros and has been a constant presence in the Tournament office doing the numerous varied tasks involved in putting on the Tournament. Jan is presently in charge of Player’s Hospitality and Transportation, overseeing most of the arrangements for the LPGA Pro’s comfort.
The Bob Clinger Award is being given to Chuck “Coach” Meisenzahl who has also been involved with the Tournament since its inception. An active Mendon/Honeoye Falls Rotarian, “Coach” is devoted to the game of golf and to supporting the operations of both Rotary Camps. During the past 25 years he has served on the Tournament’s Special Events Committee, the Board of Directors, Tournament Operations, and is a past officer of Disabled Children. He is credited with “inventing” the Tuesday Pro-Am Putting contest, an event that has been copied by other tournaments on the LPGA tour. Coach is presently the liaison between the Tournament Operations and the special events that take place during Tournament week.
Congratulations to all of our nominees and winners. You have served as excellent examples of the Rotary Motto, “Service above self.”