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Small deed, major impact: Longtime tournament fan spreads joy by gifting home-made flowers

The Chevron Championship brings in the world's best women's golfers to Rancho Mirage. But it also brings in Judy Callaway. A San Diego resident that has been coming here for decades. Not alone, but with her flowers. 

"Over 23 years," said Judy Callaway. "I usually do a thousand at each tournament. I actually make them at home and bring them. I couldn’t make that many. Takes me a whole month to do the thousand."

Not charging a penny, not asking for anything in return. Judy does this because she believes a small act of kindness can go a long way. And the reason she first started this was to make yellow ribbons for a special reason. 

"For bringing home our military safe. Tie a yellow ribbon around the tree," said Callaway. "So that’s what it was all about because I had two boys that were in the army and they came home safe, so my yellow ribbon worked."

"The fact that she is giving them to everybody I don’t think you can ask for more a better person to participate," said Jill Boerger visiting from Dallas.  

"Amazing. They are beautiful and they take a little while to make," said 18th hole volunteer Steven Thomas. "They aren’t just slapstick art, they are gorgeous." 

Pro player, volunteer, caddie, or fan, everyone gets one. Judy even went a step further and made wine aprons for the last year of the tournament in the desert. 

"Just to make people smile and give myself something to do. Makes me feel good to give somebody something and they look at you and smile. That’s a good feeling! 

"Ever since I was here when I was 14 I remember her being here," said World No. 12 Lexi Thompson. "She is an amazing lady and I think all of us look forward to seeing her coming up to the 18th green."

While it is a small gift, it’s a big impact. These flowers flooded Mission Hills Country Club for one last time. 

"Just makes my heart feel so good. Even your face right now you are smiling. It makes everybody feel better when you see somebody smiling," said Callaway. "It’s sad to see somebody down and the last two years have been very down. So we needed this. I needed it." 

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Bailey Arredondo

Bailey Arredondo is a Sports Anchor/Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. He joined the Desert’s News Leader in January 2022 here.


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