CSGA (April 22, 2020) During National Volunteer Week, we honor 2019 Volunteer of the Year, Bob Summers. The CSGA could not manage the number of events it does—almost 70 in a normal year—without the conscientious commitment of hundreds of volunteers. This past season one in particular stood out—the man we called Mr. One Day. Bob Summers was ever-present at CSGA One Day tournaments, doing whatever it took to help. We look forward to having Bob back with us this season. To him and all of our volunteers who make our seasons possible, thank you!
Retired Athletic Director Bob Summers had a lot of sports to choose from when he decided to volunteer. “But at my age, says Summers, now 90, “most sports aren’t going to let you do too much. Be a ticket taker or something. With the CSGA, I’m right out there.”
And Summers is right out there often. In that decade since his wife Ruth passed away, he has served as on-course official at about 85 events, in some years as many 18 or 19. His favorites: the One Day Series sponsored by Chris Cote’s Golf Shop. And like the former Marine lieutenant he is, Summers has jumped in with both boots.
“Bob is the consummate volunteer–reliable, knowledgeable, dedicated and a team player,” says Marsha Rupp, who heads up the One Day Series. “After his characteristic cheerful morning greeting, Bob is off for the day with binoculars in hand, assisting the players with lost balls, rulings and pace of play. He won’t leave his post, in rain, bitter cold or sweltering heat until the very last group has come through. He is an integral part of our One Day tournaments and we are so fortunate to have him!”
The feeling is mutual. Summers, who was introduced to the CSGA volunteer corps through friend George Cafferty, loves being part of a team, having spent most of his career building them.
“From the first event I went to, I was impressed with how professional they were,” says Summers.”I really appreciate being part of a team like that. And One Days are fun.”
A former teacher and coach (wrestling primarily) and graduate of Boston University, he served as a high school athletic director for 43 years, primarily at Avon High School, where he developed the first athletic program. (Students used to attend Canton High). In his spare time he organized the Avon Babe Ruth League and founded the Avon High Booster Club. In the summer he umped Little League games. He chaired the CIAC Girls’ Tennis Committee and served on the CIAC Wrestling Committee, and was a wrestling tournament director for 25 years. He was also President of the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors.
For all of this and more, he was inducted into the CAAD Hall of Fame.
Retirement in 2000 gave him a chance to polish off a neglected golf game, and he now plays in a regular league at Crestbrook Park Golf Course in Litchfield County hear his home. He shot his age once, an 82 at nearby Simsbury Farms Golf Course on a day “when everything came together.”
Summers stays north through the winters with the exception of one trip a year to the Honda Classic, where veterans get special access. “It breaks up the winters,” he says.
He’s most proud of the hiring of coaches he did. And what did he look for?
“Someone who really knows his sport, loves to spend time with players and is a team player himself,” says our Volunteer of the Year.
Hmm. Sounds like someone we know.