Back when the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay was in the early stages of planning, the Emerald Ridge High School booster club received the volunteer and fundraising opportunity of a lifetime: to run a concession booth at the legendary golf tournament.
Prom Management Group, the concession contractor for the United States Golf Association, reached out to local nonprofits to man concession stands throughout the 18 holes on the course, and the ER booster club was one of the lucky few chosen. Originally, club president Angie Moon signed up for a booth with a roster of 125 spots of volunteers to fill.
“Then they contacted us and said that they had upgraded our tent,” Moon said. “Then we had to try to fill 244 spots. We were trying to get everyone to help. We reached out to sports boosters, to other high schools, but eventually we got a team of volunteers from Kalles Junior High and Shaw Road (Elementary).”
In addition to parents from Kalles and Shaw Road, student groups and teams that participate in the fundraising will take home 75 percent of what is made during their shift, and the ER Boosters will keep the remaining 25 percent. Emerald Ridge’s principals and administrators even pitched in as part of the volunteering effort, working a shift during the practice rounds on Tuesday.
“It’s been unbelievable,” assistant basketball coach Rick Powell said Thursday, the opening day of the tournament, while taking a break from his duties. “It’s been a great experience. How many times does an event like this come to Washington that we can work at?”
Parent volunteer Sue Foster said the stand had been busy all week, and was expecting the fundraiser to be successful.
Through out the week of the Open, each volunteer worked at least one eight-hour shift pouring beer and serving food to hungry fans. With good weather through out the event, Moon says that only means more money from the Open going back into Puyallup schools, clubs and athletics.
Not only is the event providing students with money to support extra curricular endeavors, it is also providing those that work the booth with much needed job skills.
“They get experience dealing with customers and running a cash register,” Moon said. “They have fun, and the U.S. Open definitely has a cool factor. We’ve been very excited about it. We love the booth at the U.S. Open.”