Finalists interviewed at Union League Club in New York City
NEW YORK CITY – Two caddies from Sankaty Head Golf Club in Nantucket, Mass., have been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a prestigious full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a final selection interview held at Union League Club in New York City on Feb. 11.
Both caddies have a unique story, which reflects the scholarship’s four criteria: a strong caddie record; excellent academics; demonstrated financial need; and outstanding character. They will begin college this fall as Evans Scholars at a leading university nationwide. The Evans Scholarship is valued at an estimated $120,000 over four years.
Participants are part of a special program called the Sankaty Head Caddie Camp, which is located and operated at Sankaty Head Golf Club. Home to 60 caddies and staff members, the young men live in a structured, disciplined camp environment, spending part of each day caddying for golfers. Through their work, many go on to earn college scholarships, including the Evans Scholarship.
Alejandro Vasquez of Norwalk, Conn., is a senior at Center for Global Studies in Norwalk. He was awarded the Evans Scholarship to Penn State University. “My first summer caddying, I was hit off the fly by a drive. This was a good representation of my first year at Camp Sankaty Head,” he said. “Learning the importance of resilience when faced with the unknown was the big takeaway. The camp would begin as a place where I would get frustrated over my inability to learn and then become something I’d look forward to returning to every summer.”
Alfredo Fuentes of Alexandria, Virginia, is a senior at West Potomac High School in Alexandria. He was awarded the Evans Scholarship to Ohio State University. “Caddying has taught me responsibility, independence and social skills,” he said. “I will work diligently to succeed in school and will look back at the lessons my mom has taught me to achieve anything I want in life,” he said.
“These deserving students have shown dedication, hard work and sacrifice, and we are honored to help them pursue their dreams of a college education,” said WGA Chairman Kevin Buggy.
The selection meeting in New York was one of more than 20 such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation will hold across the country through the spring. When the 2019-20 selection meeting process is completed by April, an estimated 285 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship. In addition to the two new recipients, there are 16 other Sankaty Head caddies who are current Evans Scholars.
The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Glenview, 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 1,010 caddies are enrolled in 18 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,050 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
“These young men have shown excellence in the classroom and in their communities, as well as on the golf course,” said John Kaczkowski, WGA President and CEO. “We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 32,500 golfers across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $14 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.