More than 300 supporters attend black-tie affair

GLENVIEW, Ill. – The Western Golf Association (WGA) hosted its 11th annual Green Coat Gala on Friday, Nov. 4, raising a record $1 million to help send deserving caddies to college through the Evans Scholars Foundation (ESF).

More than 300 supporters attended the black-tie affair at The Peninsula Chicago and virtually via livestream. All proceeds support the Evans Scholarship, a prestigious full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies.

The evening featured special guest Butch Harmon – former golf coach of Tiger Woods, current coach of many of the top touring professionals and the game’s most sought-after instructor.

“When I was asked to come do this, it was an honor for me. I get to speak at a lot of things, but nothing touched me like tonight has touched me. I get a little emotional here,” said Harmon. “What the Evans Scholarship has done for young people is phenomenal. Tonight was a perfect example.”

Veteran NBC and Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing emceed the event and held a fireside chat with Harmon, where they touched on the current landscape of professional golf and stories from Harmon’s days of coaching golf’s greats.

Guests also heard from featured Evans Scholar Jon Paul, a junior studying mechanical engineering at Michigan State University. Paul caddied at Country Club of Detroit in Michigan. He shared the story of his journey to America, and how the Evans Scholarship has changed his family’s life.

“Where I grew up, in a mountain village in Haiti, my house had two bedrooms and we slept on a blanket on the floor. Besides love, my parents made sure our education was a priority – even over eating,” said Paul. “Caddying and the Evans Scholarship gave me the opportunity to realize my dreams. Because of your generosity, I have been able to dream much bigger than I ever thought possible.”

Currently, a record 1,100 Evans Scholars are enrolled at 22 universities across the country, and more than 11,800 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.

“The need to receive a college education has never been greater,” said WGA Chairman Joe Desch. “Thanks to our generous supporters, the record-breaking success of this year’s event will more provide life-changing experiences for young caddies, like Jon, nationwide.”

The 2022 Green Coat Gala event co-chairs were Tim and Stacey Cavanagh, Mike and Sharyl Mackey, Terry and Eileen McCann, and Mick and Karen O’Rourke.