DCSD buses support international golf event
PARKER – The town of Parker was in the international spotlight August 13-18 during the Solheim Cup golf competition, held at the Colorado Golf Course. The biennial event, alternately held in Europe and the United States, traditionally hosts some of the best golfers in the world, as the U.S. competes with Europe in the women’s version of the Ryder Cup.
Yellow Douglas County School District buses were a common sight at the event. The District’s Transportation department provided transportation for spectators and volunteers, diminishing traffic jams during the multi-day event.
“The people were excited because this only happens once every four years,” said Director of Transportation Paul Balon, one of many department volunteers who covered additional routes in support of the tournament.
“It’s the best professional golfers from around the world, right in our backyard,” he continued. “Some of the volunteers were coming with their children and they were all painted up with the U.S.A. and they had flags in their hair. It’s pretty exciting!”
The drivers provided the service between their normally scheduled routes. After taking children to and from school, they switched to either the two-mile loop from Salisbury Park in Parker or the half-mile loop from the volunteer parking lot at the golf course. For the drivers, it is just like their field trip duties—except that money raised through the Solheim Cup service contract supports the mission of the District.
“We’re not doing it for free. The profit we make on an event like this helps us offset the Transportation budget,” explained Director of Transportation Paul Balon.
He says that a portion of the income is used for grants to ensure that every Douglas County student is able to participate in field trips throughout the school year.
The District was invited to provide transportation for the event after making a great impression on golf officials during the U.S. Open in Colorado Springs.
“They were so happy with our service that they asked us to do it for the LPGA event,” Balon said. “They had overwhelming positive comments on the quality of service that we provided, and how professional and courteous our drivers were. That was a big pat on the back.”
The employees of the Transportation department are proud to support the communities they work within, especially when it comes to such a large event.
“It’s a very positive experience. It’s good for the community. We’ve had a lot of positive comments from parents that are excited about it and they’re excited to see Douglas County Schools is a part of it,” Balon said.
While an event such as the Solheim Cup doesn’t come around very often, bus drivers are always ready, responding free-of-charge when local communities need transportation support.
“We also partner with all of the law enforcement agencies, in case there is an evacuation. We are also set up to do the evacuation of the elderly at some of the assisted living centers. We’ve transported firefighters to the Haymen Fire,” Balon said, as he counted off a few examples.
“There are a lot of things that we do because of a sense of community,” Balon said.
October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category: