Hundreds help put on Monday After the Masters

Hundreds help put on Monday After the Masters

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - In addition to the long list of celebrities and professional golfers at Monday After the Masters, the event has another list of people who help make it all happen.

Five hundred people volunteer for Monday after the Masters doing a total of 30 different jobs.

"You're meeting a lot of wonderful people," said Neil Gilbert, who helped at the driving range Monday morning. "It's a great atmosphere and most importantly, I was a teacher and a lot of this money is going to education and that's always been an important cause to me."

Gilbert has volunteered for three years because he said he always wanted to go to Monday After the Masters, but he could never get tickets.

He got to the driving range at 7 a.m.

Gilbert said rush hour at the driving range is around 9 a.m. when the pros and celebrities warm up, so the volunteers make sure there's enough space for them to hit and also supply balls for them to use.

He then got to enjoy the tournament from 10 a.m. onward.

However, many volunteers work away from the Dye Course.

The Monday After the Masters transportation committee has 130 volunteers.

Shuttle vans for celebrities, professional golfers, VIP holders and sponsor guests are all coordinated from a room in the Yacht Club.

"It starts out slow on Thursdays when we start picking up people from the airport," said Gary Pelehaty, chairman for transportation. "But from Saturday on, it's just craziness."

The phone rings constantly, requests for pick up grow and the rush doesn't stop until 2 a.m.

The volunteers work 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Tuesday.

"From the airport to their room and around the town for meals, shopping, what have you and then to the events back and forth," Pelehaty said.

Volunteers, such as 83-year-old Dick Jones, make all of that happen.

"It's long hard work," he said.

Jones has volunteered since Monday After the Masters came to North Myrtle Beach. He's spent 14 years of that doing transportation, spending several of those years as chairman.

"I don't have a lot of time and effort that I used to have to go 22 hours a day for four days in a row which is about what it takes," Jones said.

However, he keeps coming back.

"I was 70 and didn't know how long I could do it," Jones said. "We've made it this far."

Meeting celebrities is one perk of the job.

"We get to know them coming back every year, so it's really enjoyable," Pelehaty said.

However, Jones said something else is his favorite part.

"Satisfaction when it's over," he laughed.

Pelehaty said most of the volunteers are repeat volunteers and he says those who are new to transportation committee usually come back again.

North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety Chief J. Phillip Webster said there's usually a lot of officers volunteering to work Monday After the Masters.

Forty-one officers were out patrolling Monday.

North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety, Horry County Sheriff's Office, SLED, Coastal Carolina University, and Probation, Parole and Pardon all worked the event.

Chief Webster said the event involves a lot of coordination, so the department had its first teleconference with organizers back in January for this year's event.

He said security is the main task.

Officers also escort celebrities and do sweeps for explosives at the various event venues.

Chief Webster said it's been years since someone has been arrested at Monday After the Masters.

"Problems are very minor. The crowds here, they're here to have fun and have a good time," he said. "If we have to move the crowd or something like that, everybody just complies and really gets along with each other."

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