Golf Today Northwest - - Golf -

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.

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