June 1 - 7, 2020

Volunteer of the Year


photo of Cyn Melvin

Cyn Melvin has served as a Memorial Tournament volunteer for 30 years of unbroken service. She has contributed to several areas including Status Boards, Hospitality and VIP Courtesy Center.

In her younger years, Cyn has stories of runs to the safe houses, freezing fingers and windy events that included clinging on to the status boards to keep from being blown off. Listening to her stories, she talks of never hearing negativity from co-workers, just pride in doing your job in a manner that reflected well on the tournament and knowing that all those efforts have benefited
Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Memorial Tournament Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

A couple of years ago, we received a call from Cyn shortly before tournament. She had just had surgery and was barely able to walk. She was practically distraught that she may not be able to fulfill her shifts that she had signed up for and wondered if she could just get herself to the VIP Courtesy Center, could she do something sitting down. She had never missed a year volunteering since she started and the idea that she couldn't do her part and continue that service had her near to tears. We assured her that we would make it work, but that she should not to do something against medical advice. Cyn was able to complete her shifts that year from a chair and did a fantastic job.

To Cyn, giving is the spirit behind the Tournament. It isn't about the free All Tournament Pass. It isn't about the parking pass and it isn't about the free lunch. What keeps her coming back every year is the heart of a true volunteer, the opportunity to serve, meet new people and benefit others.

Besides, as she quipped one day, "I'm the same age as Jack. If he is still standing and serving, then I can too."

About the Award

Volunteers are at the heart of the Memorial Tournament’s dedication to the Memorial Tournament Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Every year thousands of volunteers share their passion for helping others by giving their time and talents to the success of the Tournament.

More than thirty Nationwide Children's Hospital Auxilians serve on the the Memorial Tournament Volunteer Committee, benefiting Nationwide Children's Hospital. They are responsible for recruiting, scheduling and managing volunteers throughout the Tournament. This dedicated committee, representing the Memorial Tournament and Nationwide Children's Hospital, works to ensure professionalism from all Tournament volunteers.

For every hour worked by one of the volunteers of the Memorial Tournament Volunteer Committee, a donation is made to the Memorial Tournament NICU. It is in recognition of these selfless men and women that the Tournament annually honors an individual as the Volunteer of the Year.

The program began in 2003 and has since celebrated a recipient of the coveted award each year.

The Memorial Tournament Volunteer Committee kicks off the nomination process each year by requesting that each of the 15 committees recommend potential candidates. From those recommendations the top three candidates are chosen and voted on by a select committee of Tournament Officials. The Volunteer of the year is formally announced each May just prior to the start of Tournament week.

The Memorial's Volunteer of the Year award is supported by: