Thursday, March 5, 2009

GCSAA Conference/Show and Habitat for Humanity

Each year, the GCSAA(Golf Course Superintendent Association of America) has a yearly conference and show. This past February the event was held in New Orleans. The conference involves many educational sessions and a trade show that covers over 6 acres of convention center space. The show has been a great resource for me over the years in expanding my knowledge of turfgrass and the equipment that we use on the course. It also provides an excellent opportunity to network with old friends and exchange ideas about our experiences from the past season and plans for the future.

I am a member of Turfnet, which is a golf Industry media information company that provides various services for superintendents including a web board to post questions and answers, used equipment sales, job posting service, video magazines, and web casts of timely turf education. Our group over the years has also raised funds for children's homes, superintendents with serious medical issues, educational expenses paid for some financial troubled individuals and others who have been in need.

A year before our conference in New Orleans, I suggested that our group volunteer for a work day or two with Habitat for Humanity and give back to the city we have enjoyed visiting.

Well, ownership agreed that it was a good idea and I volunteered to get the ball rolling and do some initial research. I contacted Habitat and signed our group up and gathered the information from Habitat's website which explained their requirements. I also did some cheer leading on the webiste to encourage members to volunteer. Turfnet found sponsors to pay costs for the two days of work and also did the administrative work needed from an organizational standpoint. I was our van driver, coordinator for food delivery, and bottled water delivery boy for our two days of work.

Turfnet did some video work at our first day of work and I was given the opportunity to explain the work that took place. We had about 22 people over 2 days work at four different houses doing a number of tasks in the upper 9th ward of the city. Duties included, installing fence, building steps, spreading sand on front yard areas in preparation for sodding, sanding walls on the inside of the house and installing bathroom fixtures and general clean up of work sites.

We had great weather and I was able to meet people from all over the country who volunteered for the work. Our national association including the National Golf Course Builders Association and Club Managers Association also volunteered for a couple of days of work with over 100 people working at their project.

This was a part of our day 2 volunteer group.

I have attached a link from Turfnet which has my interview and more information regarding the work we were able to do in New Orleans. Lets just hope my grass growing skills are better than my interviewing skills.

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