VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
Volunteers often go under-recognized even though they are extremely important to the athletic community.
So important that many of the sporting events and organizations key to our lives wouldn’t be possible without those who donate their time to assist others.
Presidio Sports and Pacific Western Bank have joined forces to change that. This new monthly spotlight series is our way of thanking those that selflessly give themselves for the benefit of many.
To all volunteers making a difference, we salute you.
As the daughter of a local coach, athletics have been a big part of Jeanie Purcell Hill’s life.
“I guess you can say I was born into it,” says the daughter of Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Hall of Famer, Cliff Purcell.
Her father’s Hall of Fame induction in 2008 turned out to be a blessing for the Athletic Round Table. Hill got involved in the all-volunteer group and soon took charge of organizing the annual SBART Hall of Fame Banquet.
Combining keen planning and organizational skills with her enthusiasm and devotion to the local sports scene, the banquets have run efficiently and smoothly.
Hill is being rewarded for her hard work and support for local sports. She is the first recipient of the Presidio Sports Volunteer of the Month Award.
Like her father did in organizing teams and getting everyone to work together, Jeanie has that savvy in putting on big events like the Hall of Fame banquet.
“Jeanie has her magic touch on every event to make sure we look our best,” current SBART president Rich Hanna said. “That being said, she never hesitates to roll up her sleeves and get things done. Her involvement with the Hall of Fame banquet is priceless. Jeanie puts in countless hours to make sure it is the best possible evening for inductees and award winners while leaving a ‘wow’ feeling with guests and a great reflection of the Round Table.”
Past president Catharine Manset Morreale said the work of Hill and her committee is impressive.
“Jeanie not only took charge of the event but helped to implement the committee’s vision of a more streamlined and contemporary affair.” Manset Morreale said. “The outstanding success of the transition is due in large part to Jeanie’s hard work and leadership.”
Said president-elect Laurie Leighty: “As you can probably imagine, coordinating the Hall of Fame is a HUGE project and Jeanie did an exceptional job at making it a memorable event for all — from the menu to the amazing job she did coordinating the audio-visual portion to choreographing the emcees … it was just a stellar job!
“It felt like we were at the Academy Awards for Sports!”
Jeanie’s involvement with the Round Table started when she attended the 2008 banquet to see her father get inducted. Cliff Purcell coached the San Marcos golf team to several Channel League and CIF titles, including the CIF State title in 1999.
“I was so impressed with the spirit and pride that the community bestowed on its local athletes,” Jeanie recalls of that night. “I asked (longtime board member and former HoF committee chair) Ethel Byers if there was anything I could do to help out this stellar organization. The rest is history…”
She says having children involved in sports and appreciating what the SBART does for young athletes makes it a natural choice for her to be involved.
Her daughter, Jackie Hingsen, (Santa Barbara High, Class of 2005) played basketball for the Dons; son, Brandt Hill, was a standout baseball player at Dos Pueblos (Class of 2005) and the County Player of the Year in 2004; daughter; Alex Hill (Dos Pueblos Class of 2010, was a member of three CIF championship girls water polo teams at DP, and daughter Lexie Hingsen (DP, Class of 2013) is a member of the Chargers’ varsity cheer team.
“I have the great privilege of being the ‘domestic goddess’ for my husband (Brian) and children. I try to channel Martha Stewart as much as possible,” Jeanie says with a laugh.
A former cheer and songleader at Santa Barbara High, Jeanie gives time as the “communications coordinator” for the DP Spirit Squad and helps with the school’s Holiday Tree Fundraiser for the athletic department. She’s previously worked on fundraising events for the American Heart Association and organized the Larry Crandell Golf Classic for the boys and girls basketball teams at Santa Barbara High.
She says she’s inspired by the people in the local athletic community.
“Each week when I attend the Monday press lunches at Harry’s and listen to some of the most inspirational and motivating stories from our local athletic community, it is like free sugar for the soul,” she says. “I always come away feeling so happy and impressed. Seeing the looks of pride and appreciation on the faces of those being inducted into the Hall of Fame is also one of the great pleasures I receive as a volunteer for the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table.”