Volunteers of the Year Announced
TAMPA, Fla. – Ken Stoner and Bert and Sheri Gwaltney were named the 2018 Florida State Golf Association Volunteers of the Year. Stoner was awarded the Tournament Volunteer of the Year, while the Gwaltneys received the Course Rating Volunteers of the Year.
All three of these volunteers are receiving this award due to their hard work and dedication to the FSGA. They will be honored on November 16 at the Annual Dinner.
Tournament Volunteer of the Year – Ken Stoner
Ken Stoner, of Fort Myers, began volunteering with the FSGA in 2008, after retiring to Florida in 2007. His time and dedication to the game is evident, volunteering at over 130 events in his 11 years with the FSGA. He has served as a tournament chairman for several FSGA and USGA qualifiers in 2017 and 2018. He is dedicated to performing his best each day and has a positive influence on players and other volunteers at events.
Stoner’s favorite memory from his time volunteering with the FSGA came in 2015 at the Women’s Amateur, when he refereed the finals match between Emily Rymer and Alyssa Lamoureux at Coral Creek Club in Placida, Florida. Rymer defeated Lamoureux, 4 and 2.
“It was exciting to be there and be a part of it. In my estimation, that was big-time golf,” Stoner said of the match.
In 1986, Stoner began playing the game in a men’s Monday night league at the suggestion of his wife, Mitzi, to pick up an outside hobby. She also started playing the same time as a way for the couple to spend time together as they got older. The more Stoner played, the more he wanted to improve and that led the couple to join a club in 1991, where his love for the game grew.
Course Rating Volunteer of the Year – Bert and Sheri Gwaltney
Bert began volunteering with the FSGA in 2010 at a U.S. Open qualifier, and Sheri started volunteering in 2011 with the course rating team. Together, the pair has work over 80 FSGA events and qualifiers. The Gwaltneys travel far distances for course ratings and tournament and are always ready to accept a task.
The couple met when Bert was stationed at the Dobbins Air Force Base in Cobb County, Georgia and were married in 1972 in the Base Chapel. Bert, who entered the U.S. Air Force in 1965, began playing golf as a young airman.
Sheri took up the game a short while later, after the birth of the couple’s son, Jason. She then went on to work at the Sandestin Golf Resort for 13 years.
Bert, who first started as a volunteer for the FSGA Tournament Committee, began working with the FSGA after playing an FSGA Interclub Competition. Sheri joined shortly after and the pair have served on both the Tournament Committee and the Section 1 Course Rating Team.
Both retired now, Bert and Sheri enjoy traveling across the country, visiting different courses and cities. They made a 48-day trip from Niceville, Florida to San Francisco, California and back, stopping to play 22 different courses along the way.