Jeff and Jennifer Richards have volunteered at the Boeing Classic every year since the very first tournament in 2005.
What made you want to volunteer back at the start?
Jeff: As a golf enthusiast, I had great interest in getting involved in a professional tournament in the Seattle area and one that also benefited an organization locally.
Jennifer: I actually first volunteered in 2006 as I was home with a newborn in 2005, Jeff had a great experience in 2005 and we decided to volunteer together. It was a very hot weekend and we were marshals on the 6th hole. I was just learning about the game of golf and appreciated the opportunity to not only watch some of the greatest golfers but also knowing that Virginia Mason was the beneficiary with the patients and community really being the ones that benefit.
What roles have you had at the tournament?
Jeff: I was a course marshal the first five years and a walking scorer since. I look forward to walking again this year.
Jennifer: I was a course marshal for two years then I tried a different volunteer role as Skybox Hospitality which was basically a marshal in a skybox on 18. I loved being right on top of the action on hole 18. For the past 4-5 years I have been a co-chair of the Skybox Hospitality with Andrea Ross as the other co-chair. We have very much enjoyed all the volunteers that we have worked with, many of whom have been multiyear volunteers as well.
What has been your favorite moment from the last 12 years? Jeff: The sevenperson playoff in 2007.
Jenni f er : Every year I look forward to the Boeing flyover, but my favorite moments are the sudden death playoffs with the seven-person playoff being the most memorable. There was so much excitement and anticipation, everyone was on pins and needles.
Have you met many of the players, and do you have a favorite? Jeff: As a walking scorer, I meet many players every year as I’m walking behind the ropes with the group. They’ve all been friendly and appreciative of our volunteering. A few of my favorites are Jay Haas, Olin Browne, and Tim Simpson.
Jennifer: I have met a few players over the years, with the most memorable being Jean Van de Velde last year at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner where he graciously answered questions (even the tough ones!) and thanked the volunteers.
How long will you keep going do you think?
Jeff: As long as the tournament is around. It’s always a great weekend full of great golf by some of the greats.
Jennifer: We look forward to volunteering at the tournament every year, it’s one of the highlights of the summer for us. I’m sure we will continue to volunteer for many years to come.
How important do you think the Boeing Classic is to Seattle and its sports fans? Jeff: I think the golf sports fans in the Pacific Northwest continue to enjoy having the Classic in such a beautiful setting each year.
Jennifer: More and more sports fans come enjoy the Boeing Classic every year. It’s important to many to have such a high-caliber tournament with top-notch golfers in our own backyard. It’s great to see so many children and teens enjoying the tournament as well.