GoodJocks: Caddies from Michigan earn full scholarship to college

GOLF, IL – Sam Dart’s mother has been fretting over the year 2015 ever since her husband died unexpectedly a decade ago.

It is the year she will have three of her five children, including Sam, enrolled in college at once, a situation that will put additional stress on her already strained finances. Neither she nor Sam knew how he would be able to pay for college.

They never would have guessed that a summer job as a caddie at Wequetonsing Golf Club would lift that burden.

Sam was among a group of students from Michigan who interviewed for the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship – a full, four-year housing and tuition college scholarship awarded to golf caddies – on Jan. 9 at the Country Club of Detroit. Twenty-four caddies, including Sam, were subsequently awarded the scholarship and will begin college this fall.

“I never thought this would be possible through caddying, a job that has taught me so much about myself and life,” said Sam, a senior at Harbor Springs High School who will attend the University of Michigan. “My time as a caddie will not be forgotten; it has helped change the course of my life.”

Evans Scholars are chosen based on demonstrating a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character. The scholarship is valued at more than $70,000 over four years. Selected students will attend a university where the Foundation owns and operates an Evans Scholarship House, including Michigan State University in East Lansing and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The Michigan selection meeting was the seventh of more than a dozen meetings that the WGA will hold across the country through the end of March, with more scholarships to be awarded.

The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Golf, Ill., has administered the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. One of golf’s favorite charities, it is among the nation’s largest privately funded scholarship programs.

“Based on their excellence in the classroom and their service to their schools and communities, there is little doubt that these young men and women have earned this life-changing opportunity,” said John Kaczkowski, President and CEO of the Western Golf Association. “We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”

Currently, 840 caddies are enrolled in colleges across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 9,800 caddies – including more than 1,500 from Michigan and Michigan State – have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.

“These young men and women have consistently exhibited the kind of selfless dedication and hard work we expect of an Evans Scholar,” said Brian Mills, lead WGA director in Michigan. “We are confident they will all succeed in whatever academic field they choose to pursue and we look forward to watching them grow over the next four years.”

Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 26,000 golfers across the country, who are members of the WGA Evans Scholars Par Club. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $4 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to Evans Scholars. Visit www.wgaesf.org  for more information.

Listed below are the Chick Evans Scholarship recipients, who were awarded the scholarship to begin this fall, as well as their college to attend, hometown, high school and sponsoring golf or country club.

Connor Murphy

Michigan

Grosse Pointe

Grosse Pointe South

CC of Detroit

Christian Baird

Michigan

Mt. Clements

Parkway Christian HS

Lochmoor Club

Lorenzo Bongiovanni

Michigan

Birmingham

University of Detroit Jesuit

Birmingham CC

Jonathan Reid

Michigan St.

Beverly Hills

Wylie E. Groves HS

Birmingham CC

Bradley Taylor

Michigan St.

Beverly Hills

Wylie E. Groves HS

Birmingham CC

Jacqueline Zuke

Michigan St.

Rochester Hills

Rochester HS

Forest Lake CC

Samuel Bertin

Michigan

Rochester Hills

Stoney Creek HS

Great Oaks CC

Austin Scipione

Michigan

Brownstown

Woodhaven HS

Meadowbrook CC

Wesley Diener

Michigan St.

Capac

Capac HS

Oakland Hills CC

Nathan Graham

Michigan

Bloomfield Hills

Bloomfield Hills HS

Oakland Hills CC

Megan Lam

Michigan

Birmingham

Seaholm HS

Oakland Hills CC

Kimberly Truong

Michigan

Troy

Athens HS

Oakland Hills CC

Andrew Zahra

Michigan

Commerce

Walled Lake Central HS

Orchard Lake CC

Robert DeBlander

Michigan

Dearborn

Cabrini HS

Dearborn CC

Rachel Malo

Michigan St.

St. Clair Shores

Lakeview HS

Red Run GC

Josephine Daniel

Michigan St.

Southfield

Clawson High School

Plum Hollow CC

Catherine Kurilko

Michigan St.

Trenton

Trenton HS

Western G&CC

John York

Michigan St.

Jackson

Jackson HS

CC of Jackson

John Haadsma

Michigan St.

Grand Rapids

City HS

Kent CC

Jack Koperski

Michigan St.

Grand Rapids

Northview HS

Kent CC

Spencer Schaefer

Michigan

Grand Rapids

Northview HS

Kent CC

Jordan Harris

Michigan St.

Grand Blanc

Grand Blanc HS

Warwick Hills G&CC

Samuel Dart

Michigan

Harbor Springs

Harbor Springs HS

Wequetonsing GC

Bennett Langton

Michigan

Brutus

Harbor Springs HS

Wequetonsing GC

For more information on this story:
CONTACT: Amy Fuller
Western Golf Association
Evans Scholars Foundation
(847) 724-4600  fuller@wgaesf.org

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