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 Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield on Nov. 9.

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 2018, with awarded universities to be determined this spring. The scholarship is valued at more than $100,000 over four years.

Burke Parent, Addison, Medinah Country Club, Addison Trail High School; Andrea Coria, Chicago, Oak Park Country Club, Loyola Academy; Oscar De Leon, Chicago, Park Ridge Country Club, Saint Patrick High School; Lawrence Henderson, Chicago, Sunset Ridge Country Club, Providence St. Mel; Emilio Soto-Avitia, Chicago, Indian Hill Club, Saint Ignatius College Prep; Monika Walaszek, Des Plaines, North Shore Country Club, Maine West High School; Yuriy Melenchuk, Glenview, Sunset Ridge Country Club, Glenbrook South High School; Mairead King, Park Ridge, Park Ridge Country Club, Maine South High School; Matthew Vietzen, River Forest, Oak Park Country Club, Oak Park and River Forest High School; Joshua De La Cruz, Wood Dale, Medinah Country Club, IC Catholic Prep.

“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 Sunset Ridge Country Club selection meeting was the first of more than 20 such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation will hold across the country through the spring. When the 2017-18 selection meeting process is completed by April, an estimated 275 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 965 caddies are enrolled in 19 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 10,600 caddies 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 worked tirelessly to earn this life-changing opportunity,” said John Kaczkowski, WGA President and CEO. “They have shown excellence in the classroom and in their communities, as well as on the golf course. We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”

Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 30,600 golfers across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $10 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.

To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit

Date: 12/6/2017