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Cheers for health care heroes ring out at Augusta National

Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 9:19 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There was applause at Augusta National today, and for once, it wasn’t about golf.

It was for those who serve on the frontline at our local hospitals.

The cheers at the front gate echoed as loudly as the cheers on the course, as some of Augusta’s frontline healthcare workers traded their scrubs for spring dresses.

“It is just so absolutely gorgeous here and everyone is so nice. And, I just can’t believe I get to be at one of the premiere sporting events in the world,” said first-time Masters patron Stephanie Dunlap.

Masters week 2021

Even with limited patrons allowed in the tournament this year, Augusta National made room for quite a few healthcare heroes as a ‘thank you’ to those who have sacrificed so much this past year.

“Such an honor after a challenging year. Just an honor they chose us,” said Augusta University Health employee Holly Kennedy.

In place of their stethoscopes, they had special lanyards proudly identifying them as the heroes they are.

“We’ve worked together as a team for the past year so it’s only fitting that we’re together today,” said Kennedy.

Some of the AU team, like Isaac Green, have been working behind the scenes this week to make this year’s tournament as safe as possible.

“It’s been a great experience this year with all we’ve been through as healthcare workers, and we’re just blessed to have this particular recognition,” said Green. “This week we have been here from AU Health, giving support services for COVID-19 verification results. Making sure these patrons and staff are safe on the course this week.”

And after a year of far too much sadness, sacrifice and loss, the feelings of happiness and hope this day brings are not lost on them.

“Disbelief,” said AU Health employee Andrea Putzier. “Tears of joy and just tears of relief that things are calming down a little bit and we’re looking at things on the backside of COVID. That we aren’t in the throes of it and able to come out and enjoy the Masters in Spring.”

Even though the winner will be slipping on a green jacket on Sunday, today we’re reminded the real victory celebration has already begun.

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