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Volunteer Spotlight: Former FBI agents dominate at AT&T Byron Nelson

Charlie Tusa (right) with an officer from the Irving Police Department.

May 18, 2017

By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

Charlie Tusa has been involved with a lot of heavy stuff; organized crime, bank robberies, kidnapping, extortion, interstate fugitives and crime aboard aircrafts. He never saw a day of hard time.

Tusa wasn’t the instigator of any felonious activity. Instead, he successfully brought a lot of it down. That’s what good FBI agents do.  

For that, he is to be commended for a job really well done.    

What gets Tusa’s heart racing these days is equally rewarding, but comes with much less drama and potential for chaos.

It isn’t often that a former FBI agent has a burning desire to take on security work where there is no proverbial fire.

But, this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson provides a different script for both scenarios.

In the early 2000s Tusa, a longtime member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, noticed a few things about Dallas’ annual PGA TOUR event that could be improved upon. Specifically, his motivation was to help generate larger charitable proceeds from the event.

“The Society of FBI Agents have chapters all over the country and I've been a member of the Dallas Chapter since 1972,” said Tusa. “We meet for camaraderie and also meet to stay abreast of what's happening in the FBI and it's a nice fraternity for all of us to be part of. So, we decided that there were some light security jobs here, checking credentials and things like that. We were hiring police officers for things that didn’t really require a police officer.” 

For nearly 15 years now, the volunteer efforts of Charlie and two dozen other ex-FBI agents from the Dallas Chapter have saved the club upwards of $150,000. Their area of detail, as most would expect, is tournament safety and security.   

Tusa and his team are typically involved with monitoring all credentials going into the Sports Club, players' locker room, Media Center and inside the ropes.

“It's a fun time for us,” he said. “It requires light security and we're doing good for the benefit of the charity as well.”

“Since its inception 97 years ago, The Salesmanship Club has provided stability and financial assistance to at-risk kids and their parents with counseling and special schools,” Tusa said. “We operate the school in Oak Cliff outside of Dallas and we also treat their families and teach them English as a second language.” 

That school is the Momentous Institute. Since 1920, the Momentous Institute has been a leading provider of therapeutic and education services, with a focus on building the most socially and emotionally strong individuals. Momentous Institute impacts more than 6,000 kids and families a year from its two Dallas-area locations.

Kids are taken in at the age of three, where they are first taught to read in an effort to boost their chances of succeeding with high school and college. 

And, the success of the Salesmanship Club’s work is evident in the numbers. An impressive 96 percent of their kids graduate from high school and 85 percent of those go on to additional study after high school.

The Salesmanship Club, which is comprised of over 600 businesses and community leaders, has raised more than $150 million for the charity since 1968 and remains the largest charity on the PGA TOUR.  All of the proceeds from the AT&T Byron Nelson go toward the Momentous Institute and other treatment centers.

“The satisfaction of knowing that you're working with – one – a great organization with a history of doing great works for at-risk children and families – and two – the FBI, who is very careful about the association of organizations that they contribute to is great. We’re very, very pleased that the Salesmanship Club represented the kind of people that they wanted to be a part of.  So, that came together very nicely and it's been a good partnership for both the Salesmanship Club and the Society of Former FBI Agents.”

An event that’s on their calendar each year, the AT&T Byron Nelson is a chance for Tusa and his team  to make new friends, get to know the players, caddies, business representatives and even families.  

“It is great the way golf contributes back to the communities that they play their tournaments in,” Tusa said. “Dallas has been one of the favorite stops on the PGA TOUR since 1947 and it has always been a charitable event. We've always contributed all of our proceeds to charity and it is just special to be part of a group that does that kind of work. We all enjoy working for that cause.” 

Tusa and his “Ex-FBI Security Volunteers” group are in the running for this week’s PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge sponsored by Myrbetriq, a friendly competition that encourages fans to vote for their favorite volunteer online at PGATOUR.com/volunteers. At the end of the voting period, the volunteer with the most votes is provided $10,000 on behalf of Astellas Pharma US, Inc. to give to the charity of his or her choice from a list selected by the tournament.

The PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge is being held at 16 PGA TOUR events throughout the season and draws upon more than $1 million donated by Astellas Pharma US, Inc., the pharmaceutical manufacturer of Myrbetriq® (mirabegron), to various PGA TOUR event charities.

A tournament also has the opportunity to earn up to an additional $65,000 in charitable bonus funds based on the total number of votes received collectively by volunteers and the tournament.

To vote for the “Ex-FBI Security Volunteers” or your favorite volunteer this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson, log on to tourchallenge.com before 1:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 20. 

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