WTOC Senior Active: Heritage volunteers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC Senior Active: Heritage volunteers

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

For 51 weeks a year, they have a variety of interests and endeavors, but on Heritage week, they're at Harbour Town giving their time, offering their assistance, making the tournament possible.

"It's a lot of fun, for one thing," said Hilton Head resident Sonny Huntley, who has volunteered as an announcer on the ninth hole at the RBC Heritage for the last nine years. "And it's an opportunity for us to participate in a major event that is very beneficial to the island in general."

PGA Tour events are built on their volunteer base, and on Hilton Head Island, the 1,200 men and women who volunteer their time every April have helped build the Heritage into the Lowcountry's most impactful event.

"It's nice to be part of something so important," said Jim Hicks, who was in his first year as a ninth-hole announcer this year. 

Many, but not all, are seniors. Most are retired, but all around Harbour Town all last week, they were among the most vital and vibrant parts of the Heritage.

Most were there less to watch than to help.

"Giving back is something I kind of thought would have happened when I retired down here," said Brad Tufts, who has volunteered in the media center at the Heritage for 14 years. "But for me it's been a real pleasure."

"We can be part of it and have some fun and make a little contribution of our time at the same time," added Huntley.

There are various advantages, such as being inside the ropes, meeting the players or, for Tufts, getting a behind the scenes look at professional sports.

"I just enjoy being around golf and tournament golf," he said. "There's always something new that can happen, something different every year."

Once again, the Heritage volunteers gave a lot of themselves and gave back to their community, but left Harbour Town having gotten a lot more out of the experience.

"You'll see that with anyone who does volunteer work," said Hicks. "They think they're the lucky ones."

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