In 1992, the Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper was about to enter its third turn at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield.

Among those answering the call for volunteers was Jill Barron.

“They had me sit inside the clubhouse, just outside the professional golfers’ locker room and check credentials,” Barron said. “Giving back to the community has always been my passion and, in my 20s, golf and Highland Springs sounded like the perfect opportunity.”

And so began a 30-year run as a PCCC volunteer for Barron, and that’s why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame proudly honored her with its Ace Award in 2023.

The Ace Award is presented to individuals who help champion a sports non-profit in Missouri. Barron has done exactly that with the PCCC, which is managed by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and has gifted more than $19.4 million to Ozarks’ children’s charities since 1990.

Barron earned the tournament’s Volunteer of the Year award several years ago, as she worked every pro-am – including picking up food early in the morning at Price Cutter Supermarket, handling registrations and making sure that whatever needed to be done was done.

She also was the Chair of the tournament’s Golf Ball Charity Auction, an enormous undertaking.

Years later, she opened her own business, Infused Catering, and fed thousands during the tournament’s pro-ams, as well as during the tournament itself at Highland Springs Country Club and, in 2022, the Platinum Clubs & Clays Classic presented by USA Mortgage.

All in all, she was one of the tournament’s heroes.

“Yes, I did do just about anything,” Barron said. “As my good friend Jeannie Owens said, ‘It’s for the kids!’ I truly believed that. So, when I was asked, I simply said yes!”

Working the pro-ams became a huge task. The tournament originally had only two golf events as fundraisers. That eventually grew to 13. And it meant Barron would have to make early morning stops at Price Cutter Supermarkets to pick up food ahead of the 7:30 AM registrations, and then work the tournament, too.

“Ice, where are we going to get ice? No problem – we will drive around with an ice merchandiser on a trailer to the off-site pro-ams, after we have been to Ozarks Coca-Cola filling it!” Barron said. “What were we thinking? There were a lot of crazy wonderful long days that would start at 5 a.m. and, by the time the pro-am pairings or awards banquets were over, we hoped to be in bed by midnight, only to get up and start all over again!”

The Golf Ball Charity Auction was a monumental task, as it meant inventorying all of the items so that charities received 100 percent of winning bids.

Over the years, Barron also worked the hospitality table, arranging for whatever golfers needed. She also was a walking scorer.

It helped that Barron’s family owned Williams Construction and allowed her to take time off to volunteer. Along the way, she found so much inspiration.

Such as from a boy in a wheelchair who held the “Quiet” sign on the No. 3 green. The boy was from Camp Barnabas.

“He was a recipient and he wanted to give back, too,” Barron said.

She also attended The Celebration of Sharing presented by The McQueary Family. Held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the ceremony is where charities receive their checks from the tournament. Several charity directors speak that day, relaying the ways the tournament helps their charities meet their missions.

“Helping the kids became a passion that grew each year!” Barron said. “The stories that would be shared with us that day motivated me to reach our goals the next year!”

To Barron, all of her success started with her parents, David and Donna.

“They are the most loving, honest, hard-working individuals,” Barron said. “They have given their children the world, but also showed us a strong work ethic and unconditional love!”

Along the way, the PCCC became a family effort. Her husband, Omar, has played in several pro-ams. Their daughter, Ragan, has helped in the food tent the past few years as well.

“I am honored to receive the ACE Award,” Barron said. “It is hard to believe it has been 25-plus years. Time sure does fly by when you are having fun! Fun is what I have had, and I am blessed to have been able to volunteer all these years!”