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Augusta National contacts area schools to add break for fall Masters

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Augusta National Golf Club is preparing for an unprecedented fall Masters, and the club is seeking help from area schools to make it happen.

According to a report from the Augusta Chronicle, club officials reached out to the nearby Aiken County (S.C.) school district last week about adding a fall break to the 2020-21 school calendar. A school district official confirmed the request, which came days after the club announced new "intended dates" of Nov. 12-15 for this year's tournament in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools in and around Augusta, including Aiken which sits just across the river and a short drive from the gates of Augusta National, have annually accommodated the Masters by adjusting spring break to match the tournament's dates. The move achieves two goals: it frees up hundreds of area high school students to serve as tournament volunteers, and it allows area families to leave town and rent out their houses for significant sums to those who will attend the tournament.

With event dates now shifting to the fall because of coronavirus, a similar school break would help keep both the volunteer work force and home rental market in tact.

"Our desire is to be as accommodating to our community partners and to provide our employees and students opportunities to be a part of working and or participating in this annual event," said Merry Glenne Piccolino, the school district's communications director.