Thu, Sept. 19

A tip of the hat to the ladies

Among the many people we see at OCC are two ladies who are LPGA Class A golf instructors, but who are not as well known for the volunteer work they do for the community. While many of our folks are engaged in volunteer work of various types, those involved with golf are kind of special to our game.

Paula Hicks is a well known pro who has been involved with the Big Brother program over the years. She and her husband were a "family Match" to a seven year old buy, with whom they spent much time on a variety of activities, including painting, at which Paula is also very talented. In addition, she serves on the Board of Big Brothers, and assists with a variety of fund raising events.

Here at OCC she has taken up a project of teaching "littles" to play the game, with special emphasis on putting, as well as at various events at Poco Diablo resort.

Heather Risk has been involved with Special Olympics since 1975, working primarily on golf and softball. Presently she is teaching golf to about 30 or so special Olympians. In February, she participated in the Phoenix Open with Hunter Mahan, Luis Gonzales, and Mark Grace. This involved putting with her boys during the pre-tournament festivities, including taking some of the contestants down to Scottsdale for the event.

A highlight of her work was coaching Team USA at the World Special Olympics Games in 2003, when she was in Ireland for 17 days working with her charges. Some 7,000 athletes from all over the world competed in these games, whose "celebrity guests" included Nelson Mandela, Muhammed Ali, and Pierce Brosnan.

When summer heats up, Heather coaches our area's Special Olympics softball team, which has about 20 players. At the end of the season, she takes these folks to Phoenix for regional and state championships.

It is a real pleasure to recognize the work of all volunteers, who certainly make our area a better place to live....with emphasis (for this issue) on these two fine ladies...

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