2017 Match Play Challenge Changes Lives of Caddies


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Since the Match Play Challenge was launched in 2011, its success has helped the Evans Scholars Foundation give more caddies than ever the life-changing opportunity of a college education.

But with families across the country struggling to meet the rising cost of college tuition, there is still more work to do. A record 780 caddies applied for the Evans Scholarship last year, showing that the need for financial assistance is greater than ever.

The 2017 Match Play Challenge — the major gifts component of the annual Par Club fundraising campaign — will help the Foundation reach even more of these young men and women. The Foundation officially launched the campaign on Wednesday, May 17, during the Evans Scholars Foundation Golf Retreat at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. It’s off to a strong start, with 22 Match Play Partners already making gifts of $50,000 and greater. These gifts will be pooled and used to match the gifts of $2,500 and greater the Foundation receives in 2017.

“We are sincerely grateful to all of our donors for their support of the Match Play Challenge,” said David Robinson, WGA Chairman. “The continued success of these efforts is essential to ensuring that we help send as many qualified caddies as possible to college.”

Last year’s Match Play Challenge campaign raised $11.2 million, and it’s critical that the Foundation continues to keep pace with rising tuition costs. Annual scholarship costs for the record 935 Evans Scholars in school for the 2016-17 academic year were $18.7 million. That number is projected to rise by $1.5 million each year as the Foundation pursues a WGA Board of Governors mandate to have 1,000 Scholars in school, living in community, by 2020.

WGA Director Mike Keiser, who led the way in developing the Match Play Challenge in 2011, is serving as the campaign’s Honorary Chair again in 2017. The continued success of this initiative will help the Foundation achieve the bold goals it has set for the near future. 

Those goals include establishing the Evans Scholars Program at additional universities, providing community living opportunities for all Scholars and developing a full continuum of support that will include everything from caddie training programs to career mentorship.

“If we are to meet our goals, we must be successful in raising more tuition dollars through these ever-important major gifts,” said Bill Kingore, Senior Vice President, Development & Strategy. “We are honored to be able to help change the course of a lifetime for deserving young caddies who have excelled on the golf course and in the classroom.”

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)
Kenneth & Jacqueline Brody
Dresner Foundation
Jim & Mary Garard
Dan & Kathy Harmon
Martin P. & Julie Hughes
Mike & Lindy Keiser
King Family Foundation
Robert M. & Diane v.S. Levy
Jack & Jama Lintol
Frank & Susan Morley
Frank & Janet Nessinger
Jim O’Neill
Mary Petrovich
Frank & Betsy Polizzi
Tim Schwertfeger & Gail Waller
Elizabeth, Allan & Warren Shelden Fund
Larry & Monica Thuet
Reed & Rosemary Tupper
Date: 5/19/2017