Smiling woman and man at golf game

TOUR Championship Volunteer Sees Community Flourish Thanks to Annual Professional Golf Event

​​For Alison Gibson, golf is more than just a game. It’s a way to give back to her community.

Gibson will return to serve as a volunteer at the 2023 TOUR Championship, operating out of the Volunteer Headquarters sponsored by Georgia Urology in partnership with Boston Scientific. According to Gibson, she finds fulfillment in contributing to the tournament as it continues to have a positive impact on her community.

The TOUR Championship, held at East Lake Golf Club on August 23-27, is a highly anticipated event that draws throngs of golf enthusiasts who eagerly watch the top 30 professional golfers compete for the ultimate prize: the FedExCup and the title of season-long champion.

Although the tournament is well-known among golfers, it continues to have a positive impact on the East Lake community. Gibson is a firsthand witness of the exciting changes that unfolded during the TOUR Championship’s early years at East Lake Golf Club.

Since 2006, Gibson has been assisting with sanitation services at the TOUR Championship to ensure a smoothly run and safe tournament.

Gibson’s TOUR Championship volunteer experience has led her to see the event as a catalyst for the advancement and improved safety of her hometown. Before the tournament moved to East Lake Golf Club, the area lacked development, resources, and safety. Real estate developer Tom Cousins was a key leader who saw the vision of reviving East Lake Golf Club and in return improving the community.

As an Atlanta native and someone who had deep roots in the community, Gibson has a strong desire to see her community flourish.

“The tournament benefits the East Lake residents and provides a sense of community,” says Gibson. “I remember when that community was plagued by drugs and crime. It was devastating.”

As the area underwent transformation for the tournament, she recognized opportunities emerging. Beyond introducing new housing developments to enhance living conditions, there were comprehensive plans in place to bolster community safety and development.

Furthermore, the tournament opened doors for local engagement. Local schools became involved, and the tournament provided job opportunities. Gradually, the community started to change.

“The TOUR Championship brought new income housing, a YMCA, new schools, training programs for residents, and the development of new golf courses like Charlie Yates,” says Gibson. “While preparing the town for the tournament, the organizers genuinely considered the community as a whole.”

Since first being played at East Lake in 1998, the TOUR Championship has given back more than $48 million to charity – including a record $5.5 million from the 2022 event – and supports the event’s five charitable beneficiaries: East Lake Foundation, First Tee – Metro Atlanta, Grove Park Foundation, Focused Community Strategies, and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta.

Georgia Urology’s sponsorship of the Volunteer Headquarters helps further the philanthropic side of the event. The volunteer workforce allows the TOUR Championship the opportunity to put funds back into the East Lake community. According to Dr. Carl Capelouto, a senior urologist with Georgia Urology, it aligns with practice’s values and actions.

“Giving back remains a driving force behind Georgia Urology’s overall mission,” says Dr. Capelouto, “and the volunteerism at the TOUR Championship enables the tournament to do phenomenal work for the community.  This echoes the practice’s values, which inspires us to continue to offer our unwavering support.”

The tournament is more than just a five-day event showcasing top golfers. It’s a chance for the local residents to come together and celebrate their community’s achievements.

Gibson believes the true reward lies in the opportunity to contribute to the progression of the community.

“I looked at it as a transformation of an era as an Atlanta resident,” says Gibson. “Thanks to the TOUR Championship, our town has grown in many ways. The organizers involved the community every step of the way. They didn’t do anything to the community. Instead, they did things with the community.”