INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Tennis players aren't the only people working hard at the BNP Paribas Open. Volunteers from the valley and beyond are donating their time and skills, to make the tournament a success. No matter where you look, you can spot a volunteer, wearing a smile and a green shirt, that matches a tennis ball.
More than 1,300 volunteers sign on each year, to serve on one of 16 different committees.
12-year volunteer, Judy Strobel tells us those duties include, "Gates, ushers, transportation, picking up players at the airport, taking them to their hotels. They host the hospitality suites."
No matter what their job entails, volunteers have to be ready to commit to eight, six-hour shifts, over the course of the two-week event.
Perks include a meal each day and a little tennis. Strobel says that includes, "Watching Rafael Nadal and enjoying tennis. If you're a tennis fan, this is the place to be."
That keeps volunteers coming back year after year. But, nobody can top Mary Caprielian, in the media center. She tells us, "I have been doing this wonderful job for 28 years and have loved every minute of it."
Mary's work hasn't gone unnoticed. She has a vest on-hand that she calls her pride and joy. It's covered with pins that members of the media have given to her over the years, to show their appreciation. She says, "It's from everywhere. From every tournament, any of them have been to. I treasure it. It's really important to me. Everybody knows me. They greet me. It's great. It's like family with the guys."
To become a member of the BNP volunteer family, sign up on their website, bnpparibasopen.com