Page turns caddie job into scholarship cash

Published Apr 23, 2014 at 11:05 am (Updated Apr 23, 2014 at 11:05 am)

Having grown up in Upper St. Clair, Kyle Page knew paying for college wasn’t a concern for many of his classmates. But money was tighter in his own family, and because of that, he worried he may lose a chance to pursue a dream of going to college.

A job working as a caddie at St. Clair Country Club helped to change that. Kyle was one of three students from Pittsburgh awarded a Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship. The full, four-year housing and tuition college scholarship was granted during a ceremony at the South Hills Country Club.

“For most families in the district, the cost of a college education is not overly burdensome, but others like mine feel the full weight of this burden,” said Kyle, who currently plans to attend Miami University in Ohio this fall. “Receiving the Chick Evans Scholarship allows me to reach the goals that I have been working so hard for throughout high school.”

Evans Scholars are chosen for the prestigious scholarship based on showing a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character. The scholarship is valued at more than $80,000 over four years.

“Each of these deserving scholars epitomizes what our program has been about since its creation,” said Dennis O’Keefe, WGA Chairman. “Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice is humbling, and we are honored to be able to help them pursue their dreams.”

Currently, 840 caddies are enrolled in colleges across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 9,800 caddies have graduated since the program was founded in 1930 by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. Most recipients attend one of 14 universities across the nation where the Foundation owns and operates a Scholarship House. These awards represent a growing effort by the WGA to strengthen relationships with golf associations and golf and country clubs across Pennsylvania and along the East Coast to be able to send more caddies to college through the Evans Scholarship.

Growth in the region is a crucial component of the WGA’s larger plan to send 1,000 caddies to college nationwide by 2020. The goal comes at a time when tuition costs are spiraling upwards and the organization is seeing a record number of scholarship applicants, including from students in the Pittsburgh area.

“Expanding our presence in Western Pennsylvania, especially in Pittsburgh, will be essential if we are going to reach 1,000 Scholars by 2020,” said WGA President & CEO John Kaczkowski. “Given the region’s rich golf tradition and love of the game, we are confident this area will embrace and support the Evans Scholars Foundation and its mission.”

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 $6 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.

In addition to Page, David Shoemaker, who worked at the South Hills Country Club, and Lily Oppenheimer of Mt. Lebanon were also Chick Evans Scholarship recipients. Shoemaker will join Page at Miami while Oppenheimer, who caddied at Oakmont Country Club, will attend the University of Missouri.

Visit www.wgaesf.org for more information on the program.

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