DUBLIN – The Memorial Tournament in Dublin will have a new Volunteer of the Year, but this year it will be special for Pickaway County.
Ike Wampler, a local Pickaway County resident says that he has volunteered for the Memorial tournament for 25 years, and now has been chosen for the Volunteer of the year award out of over 3,000 people who work the event every year.
The program began in 2003 and has since celebrated a recipient of the coveted award each year. For every hour worked by one of the volunteers of the Memorial Tournament Volunteer Committee, a donation is made to the Memorial Tournament NICU. It is in recognition of these selfless men and women that the Tournament annually honors an individual as the Volunteer of the Year.
“I was asked to be a marshal in the mid-90s by a former Pickaway County Commissioner by the name of George Hamrick who at the time was a marshal on hole# 8. I was on a waiting list for 2 yrs. before I was accepted in 1998,” said Wampler, “I marshaled for 3 years before being promoted to hole captain. Eight years later I was promoted to the marshal committee that oversees the 250 marshal volunteers. 5 yrs. later I was promoted to the chairman of the committee I continue to serve in that compacity. I have worked the president’s cup held at Muirfield, and the U S Senior Open held at Jack Nicholas’s home course The Scioto Country Club. 10 years ago I witnessed Jack, Arnold Palmer, and Garry Player play their last 9 holes together. This year being named volunteer of the year is the crown jewel award since volunteering.”
Ike told Sciotopost that he has always aimed to give back and good advice from a friend told him to couple giving back to something that he loved and that’s what drove him to the Memorial Tournament.
“Tom Brokaw once said Quote: It is easy to make a buck but is harder to make a difference. So, in volunteering I picked something that I was passionate about because you have a greater satisfaction that you have given it, you’re all in contributing to the cause for which you are volunteering. In my case the support of Nationwide Childrens Hospital. My oldest grandson spent many days in that hospital with the best of care, which our family appreciated very much The memorial volunteers have helped contribute over 27 million dollars so far to that charity.”
Ike said he never expected to be picked as Volunteer of the Year because, in his position as a Marshal, no one has ever received that honor. So Ike will go down in Memorial History as the first award to go to any marshal since the tournament started in 1976.
The Memorial Tournament Volunteer Committee kicks off the nomination process each year by requesting that each of the 15 committees recommend potential candidates. From those recommendations, the top three candidates are chosen and voted on by a select committee of Tournament Officials. The Volunteer of the Year is formally announced each May just prior to the start of Tournament week.
The Tournament founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted on May 29 through June 4, 2023
To see the other 20 Volunteer of the year awards click here: https://www.thememorialtournament.com/volunteers/volunteer-of-the-year/