Volunteer Recognition

Charles “Buddy” Buder, a volunteer celebrating 50 years of service at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, was selected as the 2022 PGA TOUR Volunteer of the Year. With the award, the PGA TOUR will donate $10,000 to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a longtime Travelers Championship beneficiary and the charity of Buder’s choosing. Buder was recently surprised with the honor. 

“Buddy is known and loved by everyone at the tournament,” said Nathan Grube, Executive Director of the Travelers Championship. “His enthusiasm and motivation for why he volunteers is contagious. Not only does he represent what is so amazing about the volunteers on the PGA TOUR, he is always trying to recruit the next generation of volunteers as well. He knows how rewarding it is and wants everyone to experience it. We are a better event because of Buddy, and we look forward to his 51st year in 2023.” 

“Being a volunteer allows us to not only be in the presence of the finest players in the world on the PGA TOUR, but to help generate millions of dollars for charities around New England like The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. I am so glad to be among the charmed circle of volunteers. Although we work different tournaments throughout the TOUR season, our commitment is the same – to help raise money for the many worthy charities throughout the world. I am very honored to have been chosen to receive this prestigious award,” said Buder. 

The Travelers Championship and Hartford HealthCare are proud to honor and recognize outstanding volunteers not only throughout tournament week but throughout the year. Each tournament, exceptional volunteers are celebrated for their passion for volunteering through the below awards. Thanks to Hartford HealthCare, the winner of the Volunteer of the Year award receives a $2,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

2022 Volunteer of the Year

Rosario “Riz” Rizzo
Pratt & Whitney Hole 18 Captain

$2,000 Donation Charity of Choice: Middlesex United Way and Community Foundation of Middlesex County

2022 Award Winners

Executive Committee Member: Donna Thomas, Player Transportation Committee
Most Charismatic: Rachel George, Fan Services Committee
Best Team Player: Erica Naumann, Volunteer Villa Committee
Rookie of the Year: Jim Harris, Practice Facility Committee


2021 Winners

Best Team Player: Jeffrey Anderson, Gallery Management Committee – Emanuel Luther Church

Safety Award: Jennifer Bouquot, Airport Concierge Committee – Bags of Love






2019 Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Joe Wasyl, Media Committee – High Hopes and Dog Star Rescue

Executive Committee Member: Rick Sinclair, 17 Hospitality Committee






2018 Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Sue Pellegatto, Volunteer Villa Committee –  American Cancer Society

Executive Committee Member: Dana Shults, 17 Hospitality Committee

Most Charismatic: Al Felice, Pro-Am Committee

Best Team Player: Mitch Lucas, 17 Hospitality Committee

Rookie of the Year: Nick Morton, Support Squad Committee


2017 Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Ira Jones, Player Relations Committee – Susan G. Komen

Executive Committee Member: Ray Shaw, Distribution Committee

Most Charismatic: Keyllanne Cahill, Gates Committee

Best Team Player: Jason Hernandez, 17 Hospitality Committee

Rookie of the Year: Erick Hernandez, Administration and Media Committee


2016 Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Stacey Perzan, Skybox Committee – Journey Home

Executive Committee Member: John Mayo, Media Committee

Most Charismatic: Joseph Roy, Administration Committee

Best Team Player: Mary Beth Williams, Hole 2 Webster Bank Captain

Rookie of the Year: Michael DeRosa, Pro-am, Skybox and Event Services Committee


2015 Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Wendy Jersey, Media Committee – St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol and Kenway’s Cause

Executive Committee Member: James Anderson, Airport Concierge Committee

Most Charismatic: Karissa Steltzer, Gates Committee

Best Team Player: Donna Thomas, Player Transportation Committee

Rookie of the Year: Brendon LeClerc


2014 Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Marlisa Simonson, Deliveries and Ambassadors Committees – First Tee – Connecticut

Most Charismatic: Scott Hubbard, Pro-Caddie Committee

Best Team Player: Dave Kershaw, Airport Concierge Committee

Rookie of the Year: Danielle Halliday, 18 Hospitality Committee

Most Hardworking: Jon Penepent, Laser Operators Committee

Volunteer Award Descriptions

The Volunteer of the Year award allows the tournament to recognize and celebrate a volunteer who has gone above and beyond their volunteer role and responsibilities. This individual embodies the spirit of the Travelers Championship with their passion, dedication, and commitment to the tournament. To recognize their volunteerism, Hartford HealthCare sponsors a $2,000 donation to the winner’s charity of choice.

This award is presented to the Executive Committee member whose commitment to the tournament shines throughout the entire year. This leader is an outstanding committee chairman who, through leadership, dedication, and untiring effort, excelled in their contribution to the spirit and success of the tournament.

It’s not always easy working on a team, but this individual contributes with ease. They work well with other volunteers using a range of different skills and abilities to create positive outcomes and team morale. This individual is motivating, respectful and a huge support to other volunteers. Most importantly, they always put their team ahead of themselves.

This award is given to an individual whose enthusiasm is contagious. Their dynamic drive rubs off on their team members and contributes to the committee’s overall success. Their charming spirit is noticed by whomever they are helping – a fan, player or another committee member.

This award is presented to a new volunteer who embraces their role and dives in head first! This volunteer’s eagerness and enthusiasm is evident in all of the tasks that they take on. Being a newcomer does not stop them from performing with passion.