SBCO Announces Supporter and Volunteer
Awards for 2020-21
by Nancy McCluskey-Moore
For more than 20 years, SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) has supported food, clothing and educational programs for local children. Annually SBCO serves a 100-mile corridor stretching from Catalina to Miami and San Carlos, which includes more than three counties, eight communities, and approximately 4,000 youngsters.
As an all-volunteer non-profit, SBCO relies upon an army of people to help fund and implement its many programs. In April the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach board of directors chose the Supporter and Volunteer of the Year (2020-21).
Tom Young was selected as the Supporter of the Year based on his many years of collecting used golf balls on the SaddleBrooke courses and selling them to local golfers and a wholesale vendor in Phoenix. All sale proceeds are donated to SBCO.
Tom took over the program started by Jim Handrigan in 2000. Since 2008 Tom has assisted his father, John, in running the program and after his father died in 2020, Tom has continued on his own. According to Tom, “The program has generated $220,000 since it began. Since I’ve found fewer good quality balls on the courses over the past few years, the wholesaler has become the larger source of revenue.”
Prior to COVID, Tom sold bags of used balls at the barbershop in the SaddleBrooke Business Complex on SaddleBrooke Blvd. Now he is selling them out of his house. If you would like to contribute used balls, donation buckets are located in all three SaddleBrooke clubhouses. Or stop Tom on the golf course. He always has a bucket on his cart for collecting “lost” golf balls!
Gayl Van Natter
Gayl Van Natter was chosen as Volunteer of the Year for her service on the Golden Goose board of directors. The Golden Goose’s board is comprised of five members appointed by SBCO and five appointed by Impact of Southern Arizona.
Gayl served on the SBCO board of directors for four years, including two years while also serving on the Golden Goose board of directors. Having served two-year terms as the Golden Goose’s executive vice president and president, Gayl is now the organization’s treasurer.
On March 16, 2020, while serving as president, she received a fateful call from the general manager about COVID-19. The store was promptly closed and an arduous search for financial stability began. Gayl managed to refinance the store’s mortgage, obtained lines of credit, and secured salary coverage for seven employees through the federal PPE and state DES programs. “Keeping the operation in good financial shape was a 40 hour a week task for several months. But we managed to reopen and we’re slowly rebounding financially, which is good for the Golden Goose, SBCO and Impact.”
Susan Williams has been named the Receptionist of the Year for 2020.
Susan moved to SaddleBrooke in August 2017 from Houston, Texas. Born and raised in Houston, she received a degree in business administration from the University of Houston with an emphasis in human resources. She then worked for the university in finance and administration for 30 years. In her free time, she acquired a passion for bird watching while a volunteer at the Armand Bayou Nature Center.
Upon retiring, Susan she wanted to relocate for a number of reasons, one being to avoid hurricanes. She had discovered SaddleBrooke when her brother and sister-in-law, John and Barbara, moved here 20 years ago. Visits here convinced her to move to this community, bringing along another native Texan, her beloved dog Sweetie. John is a long-time volunteer and receptionist at SBCO and it was his enthusiasm for the organization and its work which caused Susan to decide to become volunteer there herself.
In 2018, Susan became a receptionist at the SBCO office and when a call went out in October 2019 for an assistant office manager, she promptly volunteered. According to Pat Andrea, the SBCO office manager, “Susan has been a lifesaver this past year. She’s a terrific assistant office manager and I probably could not do this job without her. In addition to being available for emergency shifts, Susan creates all the forms for the office staff, ensures the office is stocked with supplies and spreads the word about SBCO to anyone who will listen! She is a great ambassador for our organization.”
In addition to SBCO, Susan is president of the SaddleBrooke Dog Park Association and serves on the board of WOO (Women on Our Own), managing the group’s communications and database.
She also enjoys playing games like canasta and Mexican Train, as well as watching old movies, birdwatching and taking lots of walks around SaddleBrooke with her pal, Sweetie.
Marcia Van Ommeran
Marcia Van Ommeran was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of her 20 years of service to SBCO. Marcia has enthusiastically served on the SBCO Board of Directors, chaired the Angel Program (which became the Make a Difference Program), served as Recording Secretary, created and sold tribute cards, and delivered Source Books to local doorsteps. In addition, she has supported SBCO’s Walkathon, Home Tour and Food Drive special events.
Marcia has also volunteered for Teen Closet and worked as a receptionist at the SBCO office. In support of SBCO’s educational activities Marcia has been a scholarship recipient mentor and a tutor for local students