If there’s a logical choice to head the 200 volunteers for the merchandise pavilion at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open here, it’s Jay Filling.
He’s got decades of experience as a retailer, being co-owner of the Filling’s Clothing store in Lancaster with his wife Mary Beth.
He’s also got decades of experience as a golfer, having played at Hempfield High School and UNC-Greensboro, then competed as an adult.
“I was happy to be asked,” said Filling, noting that his wife will be contributing as much time and expertise to the effort as he.
“She’s going to be as big a part of it as I am. She’ll be a huge asset to everyone involved,” he said.
The Open will be July 6-12 at the Lancaster Country Club.
Filling is not a member there — he’s a member at Bent Creek — but has many friends at the New Holland Pike club.
As chairman of the committee overseeing the merchandise pavilion volunteers, Filling said the main challenge will be scheduling them.
Filling, a third-generation retailer, and Mary Beth will lean on the Filling’s staff for help in “putting this jigsaw puzzle together.”
“This is running a retail store, except it’s a big one. It will take a lot of communication and cooperation,” he said.
“Luckily, we have computers and spreadsheets.”
Filling pointed out that the pavilion, at 8,000 square feet, will have more than two times the sales area of his Harrisburg Pike store.
On the other hand, Filling and the volunteers won’t have to worry about some of the key duties involved in running a typical store.
For instance, purchasing inventory will not be their concern.
That’s being handled by Harlene Udovich, hired by the United States Golf Association as the event’s director of merchandise.
Filling downplayed his contribution to the Open, noting his committee is only one of many helping to organize the event’s volunteers.
Some 2,500 volunteers are needed.
He was optimistic that the Open would draw at least that number, saying the Open already was close to that target.
“There’s been a very substantial outpouring of support,” said Filling. “It’s remarkable. The county really is embracing this event.”
To volunteer, people can use the event’s website, 2015uswomensopen.com, and go to the “contact” tab.
They’ll need to pay a $135 fee.
In return, they get preferred parking, an official golf shirt, a windbreaker, a hat or visor, a water bottle, a commemorative pin, use of the volunteer tent, two passes to an appreciation party, entries to prize drawings and a weeklong access pass.