The Unsung Hero, Sally Jerdan, 35 Years of Volunteering at the ShopRite LPGA Classic
By Brynn Walker
GALLOWAY, N.J. - This year marks the 35th anniversary of the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Throughout all those years, many things have changed: the tournament title, the courses, the operations, and even the players. But amidst the continually evolving event, there has been one constant star—Sally Jerdan.
Sally, a resident of Somers Point, NJ, has been volunteering at ShopRite since day one. Her love for the game is what got her interested in getting involved. She's a golfer herself and used to enjoy watching the pros on TV. So, when the tournament came to town in 1986, Sally wanted to be right there in the action, rubbing shoulders with the best players in the world. That's why she chose to be a scorer, walking alongside the players and witnessing their incredible skills up close. When Sally began as a scorekeeper, the job was more difficult than it is today.
“We had those clipboards. We didn't have a computer,” Sally recalls. “We had to keep all the statistics: when they were in the sand, on the fairway, green in regulations, and putts. Then we’d have to tear off the pieces of paper at the end and hand them off at the eighteenth green.”
Some of Sally’s most vivid memories come from the rainy days—whens corers were tasked with keeping the carbon papers dry amidst the elements.
“What you had to do was dig to the bottom of the trash cans to find spare trash bags, punch a hole in it, and use it as a poncho. And then you’d try to protect your clipboard.”
Although after 21 years knee issues eventually compelled Sally to bid farewell to her cherished role as a scorer, her devotion to the tournament never wavered. She seamlessly transitioned into the realm of volunteer services, working diligently behind the scenes to organize and coordinate the army of dedicated volunteers each week.
Over the years, Sally has witnessed the tournament develop in all sorts of ways. One thing she remembers well is how fashion has changed. She recalls Jan Stephenson, a true style icon.
“Every day, you watched to see what Jan had on. She had all the makeup, she was pretty, she had long hair. If she started wearing a skirt, then everybody else would.”
As style has evolved, players have matured, and the tournament has grown throughout the years, it’s admirable to see the loyalty of Sally Jerdan and her dedication to volunteering.
The tournament continues to change, the players mature, and the years unfold, but Sally's loyalty and commitment to volunteerism stand as a testament to her love for the game and this particular event. The ShopRite LPGA Classic is more than just a golf tournament; it is a collective effort, a village of volunteers who come together to create something extraordinary.
The glue that holds this grand event together is the dedication of its volunteers, epitomized by Sally Jerdan and countless others. Their selflessness and steadfast commitment form the very foundation upon which the ShopRite LPGA Classic thrives. From the early preparations to the exhilarating tournament week, their collective efforts bring the event to life, ensuring its success year after year.