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Dedicated Volunteers Help Put on 2016 Deere Classic

Decker Ploehn, John Deere Classic volunteer and former tournament chairman
Michelle O'Neill

"It was great in '08, and it's been getting better ever since." That's a quote from John Deere Classic volunteer, Decker Ploehn. Bettendorf's city administrator was the chairman of the local PGA tournament in 2008. And the quote is a reference to the increasing amount of money raised for charity and addition of more volunteers over the years.

This year, Ploehn is volunteering in player services.

Ploehn was also the auctioneer at Monday night's Pro-Am Party, which raised around $37,000 for Birdies for Charity.

We had tickets for the Bears/Packer game. We had tickets to the Ryder Cup. We had pins from the four majors and the Deere Classic last year. And we had tickets to a Notre Dame game.

And he's proud of the history of the professional golf competition.

Many larger cities don't have an annual PGA Tour event like we've had for 43 years. Deere is a great sponsor, and the tournament raises lots of money for the community. It's pretty special.

Ploehn is just one of hundreds of volunteers who make the John Deere Classic possible. Last year, a record 1,900 people parked cars, drove shuttles, marshaled holes, carried signs with scores, and told fans to be quiet.

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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