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// VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR


acquainted with a fellow volunteer, Jeff Williams, who had recently started the first area curling club at an arena — the Atlanta Curling Club. As some of us curling veterans say, she was susceptible and eventually


caught the bug. “I could instantly see the possibilities with curling, she recalls. “I loved the civic component — anyone can curl, same day learn- ing, get on the ice with equipment borrowed from the club. Plus, newcom- ers learn the game is more difficult than it seems. I got a kick out of some new young guy curlers getting defeated by older people. And then aſter the game, what can beat the openness of broomstacking?” Cameron has been actively curling since January 2014, right before


the Sochi Olympics. She subbed at first, since club leagues were full, and joined pick-up games. She belongs to both the Atlanta Curling Club and the Peachtree Curling Association. Te Peachtree, a converted junior hockey facility, has three sheets of ded-


icated ice. A key member in that club, and one of Cameron’s mentors, is Bob Hogan, who nominated Cameron as Volunteer of the Year. Te Peachtree Curling Association, part of the Grand National region, has about 70 curl- ers, who are eagerly awaiting this winter’s anticipated “Olympic bump” in membership. Cameron curls mostly in open leagues, and has played in sev- eral women’s bonspiels. She says mixed doubles is getting a foothold, with a new league under development. I asked her if she also has the competitive curling fever. “Yes. I am competitive and look forward to future playdowns. But, I know that, it doesn’t take long to get the basics down, but it’ll take forever to perfect my game.” OK. A woman who started to curl just three years ago and wins a national


volunteer award. What does one do to earn these honors? Te nomination papers document hundreds of hours of effort. I made Cameron mention some of these jobs. “As part of our team, I did a little bit of everything and learned a terrific amount, even how to drive a Bobcat! (Bobcat is a brand name for a small bulldozer.) We cleaned the bathrooms. Naturally I was the club photographer. We insulated, constructed, you name it. We had some long days! Fortunately, my work schedule is flexible.” Familiar tasks for many veteran curlers, and great to see new folks participating! I asked, in addition to Bob Hogan and Jeff Williams, who else inspired


her as curling mentors? “I hesitate to mention names because I’m afraid I’ll miss someone.” I pressed. “OK. Jessica Sammis (first to drive a Bobcat), Tim Rhodes (first Peachtree president), Tom Lessard, Karl Strength, Rick Es- wine, and many more people!” What about coaching? “We have one former Junior Nationals participant and her father, Lizen Rosenlund from Seattle, and Megan Tompson’s dad from Cape Cod.” And the standard but logical question, how did you feel when you found


out you were 2017 USCA Volunteer of the Year? “First, I thought, ‘Bob Hogan deserves this award!’ I was definitely surprised! Seriously, so many hard-working volunteers built our dedicated ice. Tis wonderful recogni- tion is something shared among many amazing people. Tere are so many unknowns in forming a club and a facility – how to make ice, topography, local weather. We don’t have ice technicians within driving range, so we used some trial and error.” “We wanted to be able to curl and get better and for that dedicated ice


helps a lot. Curling plays a valuable role as a place for people to come and interact. I’m so grateful for the nomination and the Award. I wish people could be down here to see our club. And, I never thought I would drive a Bobcat!” Q


2017 USCA Volunteer of the Year Cameron Dunn in action breaking ground (top) and instructing at a Learn to Curl event in Georgia.


Year 2017 2016


USCA Volunteer of the Year Recipients Recipient


Club


Cameron Dunn Don Piche


2015 Darryl Horsman 2014 Mary Fanette 2013 2012


Cal Tillisch Doug Brugler Peachtree (Ga.)


Traverse City (Mich.) Coyotes (Ariz.) Norfolk (Conn.) Wausau (Wis.) Rochester (N.Y.)


Story by David Garber, U.S. Curling News writer USA Curling (( 9


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