Hatcher earns 2017 PGA Tour Champions “Volunteer of the Year” honors
DES MOINES -- Maggie Hatcher, a longtime volunteer at the Principal® Charity Classic, presented by Wells Fargo, has been recognized as the 2017 PGA TOUR Champions “Volunteer of the Year.”
The award was announced in December during the TOUR’s annual meetings in Boca Raton, FL with Hatcher being selected as this year’s outstanding volunteer across all 26 PGA TOUR Champions events. She was nominated for the award by tournament staff.
Hatcher, 79, of Harlan, said she was thrilled to accept the honor and wanted to share it with her fellow volunteers at the Principal Charity Classic. More than 1,200 volunteers help bring the annual golf tournament to life each year at historic Wakonda Club in Des Moines.
“When I heard that I had been nominated for this award, I couldn’t believe it,” Hatcher said. “And then to win it...well, I had to sit down. It’s a great honor, and one that so many of my fellow Principal Charity Classic volunteers deserve, too. I’m just very proud to represent them. They are wonderful people.”
Hatcher, who currently volunteers as a marshal on the 14th hole, has made the trek from her hometown of Harlan - roughly 100 miles west of Des Moines - to Iowa’s capital city for the past 17 years and arrives with the energy of someone decades younger.
She began volunteering when the event was known as the Allianz Championship (2001-2006) and then continued when Principal became title sponsor (2007 to present).
In addition to serving as a marshal, she has also previously volunteered in radio communications and as a tournament walking scorer.
“Volunteers are the heart and hands of the Principal Charity Classic,” said Assistant Tournament Director Scott Fuller, who also has been with the Principal Charity Classic for 17 years. “And Maggie exemplifies everything that is great about our many wonderful, longtime volunteers. Her smile, enthusiasm and energy are contagious, and her dedication to the tournament inspires everyone around her.”
Hatcher was born and raised on a farmstead east of Harlan, and caught the golf bug while volunteering at the former LPGA event in Springfield, IL, in the late 1970s. It was there she met well-known golf operations leader John Montgomery, Sr., who recruited her to join his company, Executive Sports, Delray Beach, FL.
Hatcher migrated south and spent two years working for Montgomery, Sr., whom she credits with teaching her to “never be a phony.” Hatcher said her time in Florida was wonderful, but she missed the changing seasons and eventually returned to Iowa. She later spent 25 years working as a bookkeeper for her local newspaper.
Wonderful 17 years
Hatcher, who will celebrate her 80th birthday in August, said she’d like to reach the 20-year mark as a Principal® Charity Classic volunteer.
“It’s been a wonderful 17 years, my health is good right now, and the tournament keeps me young,” Hatcher said. “We’re a family as volunteers, and it’s exciting to reconnect with everyone each year. When we see each other again, it’s like we haven’t been apart for 51 weeks. And that’s my favorite thing about it all. It’s the people, and the difference we make together. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The 2018 Principal Charity Classic® will take place June 5-10 at Wakonda Club. Volunteer registration will open in January. For more information, visit principalcharityclassic.com.
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