Volunteer goes beyond call of duty

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

Talk about being a good host.

Barb Coughlin of Lucan wanted to be just that when she signed on at the first opportunity to be a volunteer at the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

"I wanted to be involved some way," said Coughlin, who curls at Ilderton.

She landed a job with the Hearts transportation department, driving people around the city.

On Saturday night, the volunteers -- there is a pool of 550 of them -- learned that an Exeter couple who had attended the afternoon and evening draws were stranded in the city when their van broke down.

Coughlin offered to drive them home, but learned she couldn't use a tournament vehicle because they are not authorized to drive outside the city.

Nearing the end of her volunteer shift, Coughlin offered to drive them home in her own car.

"The weather was fine in London," Coughlin said.

But it deteriorated as they neared Lucan and the last eight kilometres "were in almost total whiteout."

She could tell the couple were relieved, she said, when she suggested they not continue on to Exeter but stay at her house for the night.

"It was harrowing driving," Coughlin said. "Their son came to pick them up in the morning, but they still have their car to deal with."

Coughlin is working at the tournament six hours a day. Sunday was her only day off.

"The hospitality of the volunteers is great," said Peter Inch, chairperson of the host committee under which the volunteers are supervised. "Hers was exceptional."


Videos

Photos