2017 Match Play Challenge Changes Lives of Caddies


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On the strength of a fast start to the 2017 campaign, the Evans Scholars Foundation’s annual Match Play Challenge initiative has surpassed $50 million in all-time fundraising to support caddie scholarships.

The milestone — reached in just the seventh year of the Match Play Challenge — comes at a time when the skyrocketing cost of college tuition has young caddies nationwide applying for the Evans Scholarship in record numbers. The commitment and generosity of the Evans Scholars Program’s supporters has allowed the Foundation to meet this rising need.

“We are extremely grateful to our donors, whose extraordinary generosity has made this milestone possible,” said David Robinson, WGA Chairman. “The success of this annual campaign means we can commit to a bold plan for the future of the Evans Scholars Foundation.”

Developed with the leadership of WGA Director Mike Keiser in 2011, the Match Play Challenge is the major gifts component of the annual Par Club fundraising campaign. Each year, a group of Match Play Partners make gifts of $50,000 and greater. These gifts are pooled and used to match the gifts of $2,500 and greater the Foundation receives.

The generosity of Match Play Partners has inspired thousands of donors from coast to coast to support youth caddies. Since 2011, the Match Play Challenge has generated more than 300 gifts of $50,000 and greater and more than 5,800 gifts of $2,500 and greater.

These major gifts have positioned the Foundation to set aggressive goals for the near future. In addition to increasing the number of Evans Scholars in school from the record 935 enrolled during the 2016-17 academic year to 1,000 by the year 2020, the Foundation is working to establish the Evans Scholars Program at additional universities coast to coast.

At the same time, it is increasing living capacity at its Scholarship Houses to provide all Evans Scholars with the benefits of community living. That means establishing new Scholarship Houses at some partner universities and renovating existing Houses to ensure that Evans Scholars have the ideal living and learning environment.

Finally, the Foundation is expanding its continuum of support — from caddie training programs to career mentorship — to better position itself to guide young men and women from caddie, to college, to career.

As the Match Play Challenge pushes beyond the $50 million threshold, its continued success will be critical to the Foundation’s ability to reach its goals while giving young men and women the opportunity to attend college with the support they need to thrive and succeed.

“These major gifts become more important as we see the need for the Evans Scholarship grow each year,” said Bill Kingore, Senior Vice President, Development & Strategy. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished through the Match Play Challenge, but we understand the great responsibility we now have to expand the Evans Scholars Program to ensure we are not leaving deserving candidates behind.”

For more information on the Match Play Challenge, please contact Bill Kingore at 224-260-3712 or kingore@wgaesf.org.

2017 Match Play Partners

Anonymous (4)
Jim Ashenden through the Estate of Jim Ashenden
Kenneth & Jacqueline Brody
Steve & Karis Colnitis
Glenda & Fritz Corrigan
Mr. & Mrs. Dominic Curcio
Dresner Foundation
Mr. & Mrs. Eugene F. Fama
Rob & Georganne Foss
Paul Frymark & Sally Metzger
Jim & Mary Garard
Dan & Kathy Harmon
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel G. Helle
Jack Holland
Martin P. & Julie Hughes
Mike & Lindy Keiser
King Family Foundation
Robert M. & Diane v.S. Levy
Jack & Jama Lintol
Thomas L. Mallman
Thomas & Susan Moran
Frank & Susan Morley
George & Vicki Muellner
Frank & Janet Nessinger
Jim O’Neill
Dan & Vicki Pawlowski
Mary Petrovich
Frank & Betsy Polizzi
Roger W. Sandstrom
Jack & Dottie Sauer
Tim Schwertfeger & Gail Waller
Elizabeth, Allan & Warren Shelden Fund
Larry & Monica Thuet
Reed & Rosemary Tupper

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2017 Match Play Challenge Changes Lives of Caddies