Chicagoland caddies earn Evans Scholarships

GOLF, IL – Ten Chicago-area high school seniors have been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a full, four-year housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a final selection interview held at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe on Nov. 10.

Each caddie has a unique story to tell, reflecting the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record; excellent academics; demonstrated financial need; and outstanding character. They will begin college in the fall of 2017, with awarded universities to be determined this spring. The scholarship is valued at more than $100,000 over four years.

Recipients include: Elizabeth Sandoval, Vernon Hills (Skokie Country Club, Vernon Hills High School); Marco Torres, Berwyn (Skokie Country Club, Fenwick High School); Christopher Novo, Chicago (Northmoor Country Club, Loyola Academy); Steven Rayzman, Vernon Hills (Exmoor Country Club, Lake Forest Academy); Melina Scofield, Cicero (Glen Club, Cristo Rey Jesuit); Mark Rinaolo, Lake Forest (Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest High School); Ashweita Ajith, Skokie (Evanston Golf Club, Niles West High School); Elijah Lancaster, Skokie (Evanston Golf Club, Niles West High School); Kaitlyne Diaz, Chicago (Bryn Mawr Country Club, Taft High School); and Donavan Bird, Elgin (Elgin Country Club, Streamwood High School).

“Each of these deserving Evans Scholars epitomizes what our Program has been about since its creation in 1930,” said WGA Chairman David Robinson. “Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice is humbling, and we are honored to be able to help them pursue their dreams.”

The Skokie Country Club selection meeting was the first of more than a dozen such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation will hold across the country through the spring. When the 2016-17 selection meeting process is completed by April, an estimated 270 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.

The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Golf, Illinois, has supported the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. One of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.

Currently, a record 935 caddies are enrolled in 20 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 10,400 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.

“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, WGA President and CEO. “We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”

Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 28,700 golfers across the country, who are members of the WGA Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $11 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 the Evans Scholars Foundation.

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