By Beth Carter/Marketing Inspirations
It takes more than four volunteers to support every player at the BB&T Atlanta Open. But, despite the demand, the tennis fans from metro Atlanta continue to take vacation and personal time to help the tournament run like a charm.
Amy Mason has been the BB&T Atlanta Open volunteer coordinator for the tournament for all four years. In her role, she oversees 380 total volunteers from all departments: security, ball persons, ushers, drivers and player services. The time commitment to be a volunteer is four to five hours for four different shift but volunteers love donating their time to be at such an exciting event.
"We have over 65 percent of volunteers that return every year and some fly in from other states just for the tournament week," said Mason. "It’s nice to see people come back each year."
In her first year as a volunteer, Vilma Bass works in Volunteer Services. Each day of the tournament she checks in over 100 volunteers from every area; every one of the 380 total volunteers must check in at one place. The volunteers trickle in throughout the day so there’s work to be done all day long.
"My brother volunteered for the tournament and I love tennis so I knew I wanted to volunteer this year," said Bass. "I love it!"
Leslie Olejnik holds the job of media volunteer coordinator and has been doing it the past three years. In her first stint as a volunteer involved working in an unconditioned kitchen area. Now she gladly serves in the air conditioned media room. With over 130 media credential requests, including local, national and international media, the media workroom is a steady stream of media to assist.
She has 17 years’ experience as a producer and writer at a local TV station. So, she understands the media’s needs. She also heads up a staff of 11 volunteers, most of whom have professional media experience.
"I check in the media, help get them their credentials, feed them and handle media tickets," said Olejnik. "I play host to make sure the media is comfortable and has what they need."
Additionally, Olejnik is responsible for the posting of scores on three boards: main draw singles, main draw doubles and qualifying. Thousands of fans see her and the media volunteers’ handiwork as they review the 4’x8’boards for the latest scores from the tournament’s three courts.
Behind every successful tournament is a dedicated group of volunteers. Here's a big thank you to the wonderful volunteers who contribute so much to the BB&T Atlanta Open