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Golf Ontario Volunteers receive royal treatment at Appreciation Day

UXBRIDGE — The lifeblood of Golf Ontario is truly the volunteers that make running events and services possible. On October 2, from Wooden Sticks Golf Club in Uxbridge, those volunteers were given the royal treatment at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Day, themed crowning moments. The volunteers were treated like the kings and queens they are as they were recognized for all of their contributions, culminating with the presentation of the District Volunteer of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award, and Honorary Life Director Award.

“On behalf of the board, I personally want to thank each and every one of our volunteers,” said Golf Ontario Board Member Ivy Steinberg. “Thanks also as a competitor because we don’t play with out you. Without each and every one of you our events don’t happen. It is often overlooked how important you are to our organization. I know how much time goes into volunteering and that you have many things you could be doing in your lives. Thank you for everything you do.”

Honorary Life Director— Jim King

Honorary Life Directors are recognized for their outstanding achievements through their involvement as a Committee and Board Member. This year, the award went to Waterloo’s Jim King, an individual who has made tremendous contributions to the association and golf in the province.

In 2014, King became the first Golf Ontario President to serve a second term. He has been a volunteer with the Golf Ontario since 2008, serving on the Finance, Rules and Competitions, Marketing and HR and Compensation committees, while spending countless hours as a tournament starter and Level 3 Rules Official.

Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award— Lee Griffin

The Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award is considered the highest honour recognizing individual service to the game of golf in Ontario. The award is named after Richard H. Grimm, who was affectionately known as “Mr. Canadian Open” for his service to the event from 1965 to 1993. Golf Ontario’s Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual’s meritorious service as a volunteer. Recipients of this award embody the principles of integrity, dignity and commitment, which are central to the volunteer experience and to Mr. Grimm’s persona.

The 2017 recipient is Cambridge resident Lee Griffin. Griffin has been a rules official for more than 17 years. She also served on the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2006. Griffin has been a part of numerous committees and currently chairs the Officials Development Committee. In addition to the hours spent on the course, Griffin has also been instrumental in teaching new officials. She has helped in administering exams and putting more people through rules training programs. Thanks to the time she has spent, Ontario has one of the highest pass rates for rules training.

“I am hugely honoured and still in shock,” said Griffin. “When I received the call I was absolutely dumbfounded, I literally didn’t know what to say. A lot of people who I have worked with in the past, that I have looked up to and who have mentored me, have won this award. So to be joining such an accomplished group is really cool and I could not be more proud.”

Volunteer of the Year— Lea Hill

The Golf Ontario Volunteer of the Year Award has been designed to recognize and honour a Golf Ontario volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding performance and contributions while preserving the integrity and traditions of the game.

This year’s recipient is Mississauga’s Lea Hill. Hill has been a vital member of York District Course Rating Team for the past several years and has taken on the role of Team Coordinator. In this role, he sets up the dates that course rating will take place and then actively solicits the assistance of the other members of the team. He has also developed standardize rating sheets that the team uses for landing zones and greens. These have greatly streamlined the work course raters do and made the transfer of data to those doing the charting simpler.

“I must say I was quite surprised and honoured when Chris Osborne (Golf Ontario Past President) called me to tell me I was receiving this award,” said Hill. “I believe I share this award with every volunteer. We all volunteer our time and I know everyone enjoys what they do.”

District Volunteer of the Year— Sheila Buglass

Golf Ontario’s District Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes volunteers who embody the spirit of volunteering and have shown dedication by making significant contributions in promoting, supporting and expanding golf within their district community.

This year the District Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Toronto’s Sheila Buglass. Buglass has been treasurer of Scarboro District and Golf Scarboro for 22 years. She has assisted at the Scarboro tournaments by doing registration, scoring, and photography. She gives sage advice to the committee and contributes at her home club (Westview Golf Club) by organizing events and mentoring new golfers.

Golf Ontario would like to congratulate all of the award winners and send a special thank you to all of the Golf Ontario volunteers who make everything the association does possible.

To see photos from Volunteer Appreciation Day click here.