DeVaney continues to work

Early Sunday morning, the final day of the Toshiba Classic, the keys to the maintenance shed at Newport Beach Country Club were missing.

But it was OK, the keys weren't too far away. All it took was a phone call to Dee DeVaney and the 65-year-old came walking from across the street. He's been living at Irvine Terrace for 21 years. When a Toshiba Classic volunteer was done Saturday night, he didn't know where to put the keys so he dropped them off at DeVaney's house.

DeVaney, who has lived in Newport Beach for 40 years, was featured along with other volunteers in a story that appeared in the Daily Pilot six years ago. Well, he's still doing it. The Toshiba Classic just finished its 16th year at Newport Beach Country Club. DeVaney has worked as a volunteer at every one of them. He's worked at the driving range, each day of the week. As the hole captain, he's in charge of the crew at the driving range. During Toshiba Classic week, DeVaney usually puts in nine hours each day, providing service for the pros and the amateurs.

He said he enjoys volunteering because he is an avid golfer. He doesn't mind too much that he has had to pay $60 to be a volunteer. Each volunteer must make that contribution in order to work during the tournament. The fee is for uniforms and they also receive entry to the tournament, as well as two free tickets among other benefits.

This year, the fee was lower for returning volunteers because they used the same uniform as last year and only had to pay $20.

DeVaney was one of close to 900 volunteers who worked this past week at Newport Beach Country Club.

DeVaney, like many of the volunteers, work at the tournament because they know money will be going to Hoag Hospital.

"If you live in this area long enough, more than likely you'll end up there," he says.

DeVaney knows this all too well. In 2001, he underwent kidney transplant surgery at Hoag.

The Toshiba Classic has been fundraising for Hoag Hospital for 14 years. This year, like the rest of them, the tournament raised $1 million. This time the money went to the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag.

That's just like a bonus for DeVaney. Another great memory among many during his time as a volunteer at the Toshiba Classic.

In 1998, when there was a celebrity pro-am, DeVaney met Troy Aikman. That was a special treat, considering DeVaney grew up in Texas and is a big Dallas Cowboys fan.

Three years ago, DeVaney received tips from Lee Trevino, the Hall of Famer who has won 29 times on the PGA Tour and 29 on the Champions Tour, for golfers 50 and older.

Trevino was giving tips to international media, but when they were done, he kept teaching DeVaney.

"I thought it was pretty nice that he continued talking to me," said DeVaney, who's been a member at NBCC for 24 years. "I've found over the last three years he is pretty accomodating."

Experiences like that make the work worthwhile for DeVaney. He hasn't missed a day of work each day that the tournament has been in Newport Beach.

He's no stranger to being a loyal worker. He worked 28 years as a pilot for the same airline, Delta. For five years before that gig he was an Air Force pilot.

When the Toshiba Classic is in town, he goes back to work.

This year, the volunteers helped put on another great tournament.

Brian Horn, the Toshiba Classic volunteer chairman, said the week went by smoothly with little problems.

"Every year there are fires to put out, but it wasn't really like that this year," Horn said. "The crew did a great job and they worked tirelessly. There were a lot of people working six days and coming here at five in the morning and leaving at six at night. You just have to appreciate that type of dedicated crew."

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