Volunteering at the TPC isn’t quite like any other volunteer experience. People come
from all over the country and pay out of pocket to volunteer. One way the TPC gives back to these volunteers is Darlene’s Diner.
Darlene’s Diner is meant to be a place where volunteers can get a good meal without
spending much at all. You can get a full meal for four dollars. It’s also supposed to be a place to get out of the heat and cool off.
The place is named for Darlene Riggs, chairman of the committee. Riggs has been
serving the TPC for over 30 years now. She considers her committee the hardest working one at the TPC. Her staff arrives early in the morning and doesn’t leave until late afternoon. They work serving everything from burgers to salads.
“We work hard, but we have fun,” said Riggs. The kitchen is filled with joking and
laughing. Even the people working by the grills outside smile despite the heat.
She’s served thousands of volunteers. The volunteers appreciate it too. Riggs recalled
one grateful volunteer who purchased her a hat as a thank you. Riggs had been serving the woman in question for years. It was a small act of gratitude, but to Riggs, it meant the world.
“They really do care,” she said through tears.
Darlene’s Diner is truly a TPC institution. The volunteers love it, and Riggs and her staff
love making it happen.
Every year her diner is a highlight of the TPC volunteer experience.