South Mecklenburg High School could get $30,000 for student activities, but the school will have to round up more than 600 volunteers for the upcoming Wells Fargo Golf Championship.
Every year since the PGA Tour golf tournament at Quail Hollow Country Club started in 2003, South Meck has sent a cleanup crew to the event.
The volunteers, called "ecology ambassadors," are in charge of emptying the trash and keeping the grounds litter free from April 30 to May 10 - no small task when more than 1,000 ticketholders are walking them each day.
Volunteers from South Meck's ROTC department also help direct traffic in the parking lots.
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The school's performing arts programs, athletic department and PTSA would each get part of the $30,000, which is awarded through the charity arm of the golf tournament, the nonprofit Champions for Education.
The money covers expenses Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools can no longer provide for. The band uses the money to buy music, uniforms and equipment for performances. The athletic department uses the money for equipment, fees to attend invitational games or meets and bus fare.
The PTSA uses the money for instructional grants, where teachers request extra supplies or software they need in their classroom.
"We've bought everything from books to bulbs with that money," said PTSA Vice President Becka Tait, who's organizing the volunteer effort.
Because this year's tournament comes at an especially busy time of year, some of the golf competition is during the school day, students are taking Advanced Placement tests that week and the last day of the tournament is Mother's Day, Tait said the school needs parents and community volunteers to step up.
Over the course of the tournament, it takes more than 600 volunteers dealing with the trash and more than 40 volunteers working behind the scenes.
"We work hard for (the money), and we do it because we really love South Meck and the program that goes on there," said Tait, who has two sons, senior Andrew and sophomore Charlie, attend the school.
But it's also a fun experience, said senior Mike Aiello, 18, who has volunteered at the past two tournaments.
Last year, Aiello got to talk with basketball legend Michael Jordan and Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning.
"It's different, the school needs the money and you get to watch golf," said Aiello. "Who can complain?"