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Why I Volunteer at the Principal Charity Classic (and Three Tips for New Volunteers)

Volunteer at PCC

May 8, 2024

Golf has always been a big part of my life. I started golfing myself when I was 15 — and you can still find me playing around the minute courses in Greater Des Moines (DSM) open in the spring.

So, when a coworker asked me to volunteer with them at the Principal Charity Classic a few years ago, I jumped at the opportunity. Growing up in Des Moines, I had been a spectator over the years and was excited to support children in Iowa in a meaningful way, this time as a volunteer. A bonus was making new connections within Principal®.

When I arrived at my volunteer station, the 18th green, I could immediately feel the energy and sense of community. Everyone was welcoming and supportive, and I made lasting connections with people in and outside of the company. (Many who still volunteer at the 18th green with me every year.)

And while I am a golf fan, it’s not necessarily the PGA TOUR Champions that keep me coming back. It’s seeing the community come together and raise money to make a big impact. Since 2007, the Principal Charity Classic has raised $53.7M for Iowa children's charities. And that, by far, is my favorite thing about being a part of the tournament.

You’ll find me on the 18th green again this year. I encourage you to join me. But there are also countless other volunteer opportunities — it takes over 1,000 of us each year to make it happen.

Here are my top three tips for a successful first year of volunteering at the Principal Charity Classic.

1. Grab a Friend or Coworker

What better way to make an even bigger impact than volunteering with a friend or colleague? I was recruited by a coworker my first year volunteering — and I’ve made many connections across Principal and within the community because of it. I try to pay that forward and bring along a new friend or colleague myself each year. I’ve gotten great feedback, especially from those not from DSM originally, who’ve found volunteering at the Principal Charity Classic a great way to support Iowa children’s charities and make a new friend or professional connection.

When you sign up to volunteer, you can request to be paired with specific people and committees, so just be sure to type in your friend’s name (and have them put down yours, too). See the volunteer FAQ section on the event site for the details.

2. Plan Your Volunteer Shifts Strategically

When you volunteer at the tournament, you work two shifts; each lasts four to six hours. You can split that up into two half days, or one full day. I always request a full-day shift on the weekend when it’s busiest so I can see all the action. Once my shift ends, I typically have time to watch a couple holes before heading back to my car. But maybe you’d prefer to work two morning shifts and have two full afternoons open to watch some great golf.

3. Be Prepared for the Heat

Even if you’re working under a tent, at some point you’ll be exposed to the sun and heat. Lather up with sunscreen beforehand and bring more for reapplication. Light-colored breathable clothing is best. And consider bringing an empty water bottle as well; there are (free) filling stations throughout the course for you to rehydrate.

And on that note, if you’re lucky enough to be working in the shade, be ready to switch spots with your fellow volunteers so they can catch a break from the sun, too.

Have I convinced you to get involved? Check out principalcharityclassic.com to learn more and sign up to volunteer. Hope you see you there!

Principal community relations supports the communities where affiliates of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392 operates. Insurance products and plan administrative services provided through Principal Life Insurance Company®, a member of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA 50392.

Improving the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community through volunteering and community service is a priority for many. Thanks to community engagement opportunities and leadership connecting local businesses to causes that provide services to improve the region, DSM continues to be a place that provides support for those who live, work and play here.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses, including Chamber luncheons, roundtables and ribbon cuttings. You can also find live music happening each week thanks to the “Live Music This Week in DSM” blog series.

Alexa Pitz

Alexa Pitz is a Capital Markets Associate at Principal Financial Group®. She’s a proud Des Moines native and Iowa State Cyclone. Outside of work she enjoys spending time outdoors, supporting local businesses, practicing yoga and working on house projects.