Volunteers Make the Eastern Amateur a Hit


The year was 1957. George Skinner and a few of his buddies were sitting around the Elizabeth Manor Clubhouse on a rainy Sunday afternoon when they got the idea to hold an amateur golf tournament and invite the best young players this country has to offer.

Fifty-nine years later the Eastern Amateur Golf Tournament is going strong and still considered one of the top amateur tournaments in the nation.

Today many of the world’s best young players venture to Portsmouth to test their luck against the field. And when you have 156 players taking aim at a title, you better throw a quality tournament.

The members at Elizabeth Manor Country Club pride themselves on hosting a top-notch tournament and it would not happen if not for the efforts of the volunteers like Ethel Ropp. She has been volunteering for 41 years. Other longtime volunteers include, Pat Kearney, Sonny Amick, Donna Grier, Dale Stewart, Marie Sawyer and tournament chairman Karl Quinn.

Quinn says they have about 50 volunteers who make this tournament happen and special for the players.

Suzanne Skinner remembers hanging out under the desk as a child when her father began the tournament back in 1957. She has been involved with the tournament ever since.

David Whitener was working at WVEC when he first got involved with the tournament. Now 59 years later, Whitener is still manning the phones and doing this-and-that to help make this tournament a shining star for the city of Portsmouth.

No volunteering assignment is too big or too small at the Eastern Amateur Golf Tournament. The dedicated crew takes pride in making this event almost seamless. Quinn says it’s scary how well it works out after all these years! That is what a dedicated and proven group of volunteers can do when they come together.

The 59th Eastern Amateur Golf Tournament runs from July 9, through Sunday, July 12. Click here for information on this year’s event.