PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – 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.
Unofficially known as “The Mayor” of the Travelers Championship, Buder first began working as a tournament volunteer as a marshal in 1972. In the late 1980s, he was asked to become a walking scorer, where he has served ever since. Buder later became a co-chairman for the walking scorers committee that he proudly leads today. In addition to Buder’s 50 years at the tournament, he also worked nearly 50 years at Travelers’ corporate offices. In 2019, he officially retired after 47 years. Upon learning of the award, Travelers committed to matching the PGA TOUR’s donation and will provide an additional $10,000 to the charity of Buder’s choice.
“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.”
“We were very proud to learn that a longtime volunteer of the Travelers Championship was chosen for this honor,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers. “Being named the 2022 PGA TOUR Volunteer of the Year is a testament to Buddy’s hard work and loyalty to making the Travelers Championship world-class. And the fact that he celebrated his 50th year volunteering this year makes this recognition even more special. We were happy to match the PGA TOUR’s generous $10,000 donation.”
PGA TOUR tournaments would not be possible without the support of volunteers, who not only help events operate with unsurpassed guest service, but also contribute to the overall charitable impact. With the support of more than 100,000 volunteers annually demonstrating the PGA TOUR Volunteer Service Excellence priority standards of safety, competition and hospitality, the TOUR assists approximately 3,000 charities each year. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit 2
organizations to maximize charitable giving, and to date, tournaments across all Tours have generated more than $3.37 billion.
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which was founded in 1988 by Paul Newman, provides summer camp experiences as well as year-round hospital and family outreach programs to thousands of children with serious illnesses and their families – all completely free of charge.
“I am truly warmed to be able to make the donation to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp,” said Buder. “When my daughter, Becky, was four years old, she was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic. She stayed at the John Dempsey Farmington Medical Center in Farmington, Connecticut. Her roommate for five days was Michelle, a seven-year-old who was battling cancer. When Becky received her daily shots, Michelle would comfort her, saying, ‘you’ll be okay, Becky.’ We found out later that Michelle had passed away. I will always remember those five days that Becky spent with Michelle.
“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.”
The Travelers Championship, won by Xander Schauffele in 2022, will be played June 22-25, 2023, at TPC River Highlands.
About PGA TOUR By showcasing golf’s greatest players, the PGA TOUR engages, inspires and positively impacts our fans, partners and communities worldwide. The PGA TOUR, headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, co-sanctions tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada. Members on the PGA TOUR represent the world’s best players, hailing from 29 countries and territories. The PGA TOUR has long-term domestic distribution partnerships for broadcast coverage on CBS, NBC and Golf Channel and video streaming service on ESPN+. Internationally, PGA TOUR coverage is available across 200+ countries and territories in 27 languages via 43 local broadcast partners. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations to maximize charitable giving, and to date, tournaments across all Tours have generated more than $3.37 billion.
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