The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G is September 5-11, 2011 at the Pinnacle Country Club. Many local charities are selling tickets and able to keep 100% of the proceeds. Tournament Director David Shoemaker shares with us his favorite parts of Northwest Arkansas, his heart for nonprofits, and how people can be involved in this year’s tournament. For more information on the tournament, visit http://nwachampionship.com/
How long have you lived in NWA and what do you love most about this area?
I moved to Rogers from North Carolina 3 ½ years ago. One of the things I love about NW Arkansas is that it seems to have more amenities and things to do relative to its size than anywhere else I’ve been. There are great restaurants and attractions like the Walton Arts Center, the AMP, and soon Crystal Bridges. At the same time, you still have that small-town feel of knowing everyone and being a part of the community.
How long have you been the Tournament Director? What is the best part of what you do?
This will be my 4th tournament as the Tournament Director. The most rewarding thing is working with our team at Octagon and all of our sponsors and vendors to put something this big together, and then seeing it all culminate during tournament week.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Tournament?
I am most looking forward to the great weather we’re going to have.
Although you get to organize many events, what makes the NWA Championship stand out to you?
Everyone seems very invested in the success of this event, whether they are sponsors, volunteers, or spectators. It’s more than just another golf tournament or corporate event; it’s an investment in a community that people care a lot about.
Tell us more about the way that non-profits get to be involved in the Tournament.
Much like we’ve done in the past we have many non-profits selling tickets and keeping 100% of the proceeds. Our big initiative this year is with our Birdies for Hunger Relief program. For every birdie made during the tournament we will be donating $500 to the NWA Food Bank.
Do you have a non-profit that is especially close to your heart?
There are several but one in particular is the Morgan Pressel Foundation. Morgan is an LPGA golfer and a very good friend who started the foundation to honor her mother, Kathy Krickstein Pressel, who died of breast cancer in 2003.
How can people be involved? What other events surrounding the Tournament are open to the public?
The best way to get involved is a as a volunteer. It allows you to be part of a team of over 700 people who are behind the scenes making this event happen. One of the best events surrounding the tournament away from the golf course is the M&Ms/Extra Dickson St. Concert, which will take place on Friday, Sept. 9th and feature Huey Lewis and the News. The concert is free to the public but we will be taking a suggested $5 donation from folks who want to contribute to our Food Bank initiative.
Any sneak peeks into the NWA Championship 2012?
The biggest change for 2012 will be that it will take place earlier in the year. We’ll be moving our date to June 26th – July 1st, so after this event is over at least we won’t have to wait a full year for it come back around.
By Mary Grace Joseph for 3W Magazine