Brad Yocum of Cortland began serving as a volunteer seven years ago.
By JAYME RAMSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
VIENNA -- Brad Yocum plays a big part in the success of the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic in the valley.
Yocum is the general chairman of the volunteers for the tournament, and oversees the operations of this week's events at Squaw Creek Country Club.
In addition to assigning duties to more than 200 student volunteers and more than 700 adult volunteers, most of his contact is with the chairmen of the individual volunteer committees.
There are three vice-chairmen that help him with these duties.
"Most of what I do is before the tournament like meeting with the chairmen and going through the policy manuals and making sure all the policies and instructions are clear and work well for the different groups," Yocum said.
This week's focus
This week, he will focus on handling issues and questions that arise within various groups. Otherwise, he will have time to drive around in a golf cart, smile at everybody and make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Yocum's involvement with the tournament began seven years ago when his friend Ken Dangler, the former chairman, asked him to replace him when he moved out of town.
Yocum returned the gesture when he asked Dangler to come back and be the general vice-chairman of the tournament this year.
Yocum donated five years of service as the chairman of the pro-am tournaments, spent last year as the vice-chairman and is now the chairman.
Enjoys the event
Yocum resides in Cortland and enjoys seeing the community come together for this national event, and having LPGA golfers in the area.
The best part of his job stems from his satisfaction of a job well done.
"I get to see a lot of different people in a fun atmosphere and a positive atmosphere," Yocum said. "People are volunteering their time to come out here and give away almost a half million dollars a year to local charities. It's kind of hard not to have fun."
Yocum plans to be a part of the tournament well into the future.
"Since there's not a whole lot of national things that happen in the valley, and then there is something like this tournament that benefits our area so much, it would be hard not to want to be a part of it," Yocum said.
Showcase for area
He views the tournament as a yearly showcase for the Mahoning Valley that is run well and respected by those familiar with it, including the LPGA.
Yocum has played on the course a few times, acknowledging the beauty of the course and also acknowledging that he's had some good shots paired with some not so good shots.
He is going to leave the golfing to the professionals this week, and focus on doing anything he can to help out whether that be making sure the golfers are getting everything they need, delivering water or handling any issues that may surface during the week.