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AKRON — The leaders of Summit County government, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Akron, Barberton and Green are participating in a volunteer competition in conjunction with this summer's Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.
The inaugural Mayor's Cup Challenge was announced by Northern Ohio Golf Charities Inc. in a media event at Firestone Country Club April 17. Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters, Stow Mayor Sara Kline, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer were in attendance at the press briefing.
Northern Ohio Golf Charities is a non-profit volunteer organization that helps operate the Bridgestone Invitational and other professional golf tournaments in Akron.
These leaders, along with Barberton Mayor Bill Judge, will be engaged in a friendly competition to recruit their respective municipality's employees to serve as volunteers at the Bridgestone Invitational, the annual PGA Tour event happening Aug. 2 through 6 at Firestone Country Club.
“We're asking them to help get behind an effort to bolster our volunteer family here at Northern Ohio Golf Charities,” said John Anderson, executive vice chair for recruiting for Northern Ohio Golf Charities. “The participation of our leaders this morning being here not only signals their willingness to help add to our volunteer family, but it says much and affirms their recognition of the event's importance to our area.”
Anderson noted more than 1,000 volunteers are involved with an event that raises more than $1 million for various charities each year.
“You got a bunch of Type A personalities up here,” said Shapiro. “I think it will be a competition, but it will be friendly, because at the end of the day, it's about serving the Northeast Ohio Golf Charities and what the PGA, the NEC and everyone else has done in the history of this event to make it what it is today. To all of my colleagues, game on.”
“I'm up for the challenge and can guarantee a victory,” added Horrigan, whose prediction was met with laughter.
Walters noted he toured the tournament last summer and said it was “almost magical just to feel the energy in the air.”
The event, Walters said, bolsters both the local economy as well as the charitable causes supported by Northern Ohio Golf Charities.
“I'm happy to be a part of this,” said Walters. “I won't give away our game plan…Cuyahoga Falls is ‘all in,’ and we're up for the challenge.”
Kline said her city has traditions of both golf and contributing to charities.
“We look forward to working with you and I'm sure that the community that puts forth the best effort will have the most volunteers,” said Kline.
The municipality that registers the most volunteers “proportional to their size,” according to a news release, will win the Mayor's Cup.