September 17th, 2015

Hyland's Heroes: Lori Doyle

Samantha Stallings

Staff Writer


Hyland's Heroes: Lori Doyle
In the photo from the left is Drew, Brendon, John, Lori, and Olivia / photo provided by Lori Doyle

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Lori Doyle was born and raised in Louisville,Ky. She attended St.Barnabas and Assumption High School. She graduated from Centre College and got her graduate degree from Wright State University.          

She married her husband John in 1993 and they have lived in Louisville ever since then. John and Lori have three children: Brendon, a sophomore at Indiana University, Olivia, a senior at Sacred Heart Academy, and Drew, an eighth grader at St. Patrick.

When and how did you get your start with St. Patrick’s?

We joined St. Patrick in 2001, a year before my oldest child, Brendon, started Kindergarten. At that time, St. Patrick was a new parish with a new school. It was a community filled with many young families. We immediately felt at home and we’ve been members ever since. 

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

When my children were young, I was a stay-at-home mom, but somehow I was still always on the go. I spent lots of time at St. Patrick volunteering for the PTO, the MOMS Ministry, the Marriage Prep Program, Vacation Bible School, and of course, as a room mother. I also coached my daughter’s volleyball team in first and second grade, which I loved since I had always been involved in sports.  As a young and growing parish, there was never a shortage of volunteer opportunities at St. Patrick.

When Brendon was in 3rd grade, I received a phone call from another St. Patrick parent, Mark Page asking if Brendon would consider playing in the CSAA golf tournament. I had never met Mark, but his son Parker was in middle school and had played golf with Brendon at Long Run Golf Course where my father is the head professional. Parker told his dad he should give us a call and see if Brendon would play in the annual tournament.

Mark had just taken over coaching the team and was looking to grow the program by getting younger kids involved with golf. He and his wife, Beth also have a daughter, Katie, who was in 4th grade at the time. We talked for a while, and realized we not only had the love of the game in common, but also a desire to expose children to golf at a young age. Before I knew it, I had agreed to help coach and grow the program. We enlisted the help of my dad, Moe Demling, and his staff at Long Run Golf Course, which was definitely the key to the program’s success. 

What sports did or do you volunteer to help and for how long?

I have been involved with the St. Patrick School golf team for over 10 years. From 2005 to 2010, Mark Page served as Golf Coordinator and I helped coach the team. When Mark’s daughter graduated from St. Patrick in 2009, I took over as Golf Coordinator and I’ve been in that role ever since. 

Over the years, we grew the St. Patrick golf program from about a dozen middle school kids, to over 100 boys and girls from K-8th grade. We were committed to teaching them the right way to play in a fun and supportive environment. Our players have had the opportunity to learn golf from some of the best instructors and players in the Louisville area, including Moe Demling, Eddie Mudd, Patrick Vadden, Mike Brumfield, Steve Stallings and  Gary Demling…just to name a few. 

The program continues to thrive, but more importantly, we have had great success. Numerous team and individual city championships, dozens of graduates playing high school golf, several playing competitively at the college level, but our biggest accomplishment is exposing so many kids to this great game that they can play for a lifetime.

What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

I have always enjoyed working with children and I’ve always loved sports, so serving as Golf Coordinator has been a blessing. I believe giving back is important, even though I could never repay the St. Patrick community for all it has given my family over the years.  Being involved with the golf program has given me the opportunity to serve my community in a way that is personal and meaningful to me.

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career? Why?

Definitely my father, Moe Demling. Of course, he has spent his career playing and promoting golf, but more importantly he has exposed countless children to this lifelong game. Many of these kids would never have had the opportunity to pick up a golf club without my dad. As the head professional at Shawnee Golf Course for 29 years, he became a valuable member of the community. He mentored, employed and generally cared for more kids in the west end of Louisville than I could ever count. I saw first-hand how he used his generosity and talent to make a difference in the lives of these kids simply by taking an interest in them and providing a safe place to learn something constructive. Ironically, he never made a dime teaching those kids to play golf, but it was a labor of love. My dad has been in the Metro Parks system as a golf professional for over 45 years, and to this day his greatest passion is teaching kids to play golf. 

I also have to mention Mark and Beth Page – without their vision, dedication, and long hours of work, the St. Patrick golf program would not be what it is today. 

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

There are so many positive life lessons to learn on the golf course - it is the perfect way to model some of the values we try to teach our children every day.  Golf is a game of honesty, integrity, humility, perseverance, self-control and good etiquette…among other things.  I don’t know of any other sport that offers so much to its participants. 

What does your role at St. Patrick bring your family?

Since our very first day at St. Patrick, we have felt at home. We have a welcoming community that values family, faith, quality education and service to others. I think it has been really good for my family to see my involvement in all areas of our parish, but especially the golf program. Over the last 10 years, they have witnessed commitment and hard work, but they have also witnessed the rewards that come with it.  It is important for them to see that we all have talents and abilities to share with others. I believe coaching and mentoring is a ministry, and I think my family has benefitted from my experience.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

There are so many great memories, it’s hard to name one or two!  I would have to say my fondest memories are of the youngest team members. Some of them show up barely able to swing a club, but they are so cute and eager to learn. I love watching the children grow up from year to year, and I often get the pleasure of watching them become great golfers. I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know so many families and children I would never have met. I take a lot of pride in our program and in our golfers.  Every year they make me proud to be a member of the St. Patrick community.

 

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