Looper love: TJ senior bags caddy scholarship

Seven high school seniors from Washington, including Thomas Jefferson High School’s Danielle Bennett, have been awarded the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship, a full-tuition college scholarship renewable for up to four years, for the 2008-09 academic year. Bennett will attend the University of Washington and caddies at the Seattle Golf Club.

Evans scholarship winners are golf caddies who were selected based on four criteria — a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.

The Western Golf Association (WGA), headquartered in Golf, Ill., has administered the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since its inception in 1930. It is the nation’s largest privately-funded scholarship program.

Bennett and other recipients were chosen after individual interviews with candidates at a March selection meeting hosted by the WGA, along with the Washington State Golf Association.

“These young men and women have excelled in academics and in service to their schools and communities,” said Don Johnson, president and CEO of the Western Golf Association/Evans Scholars Foundation. “We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family and look forward to their continued success as college students.”

Currently, 835 caddies are enrolled in college as Evans Scholars, including 18 at Washington and three at Washington State University. More than 8,600 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars — including 192 from Washington and 21 from Washington State — since the program was founded by Charles “Chick” Evans Jr., famed Chicago amateur golfer and winner of the 1916 U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur.

The program has a college graduation rate of over 90 percent, and an overall grade-point average for all Evans Scholars in college is above a 3.2.

Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by more than 500 member clubs, 36,000 WGA Par Club members and 100,000 golfers in the WGA Bag Tag Program. Evans Scholar Alumni donate over $3 million annually to the program.

The scholarship program is also supported by 23 affiliated golf associations and with proceeds from the BMW Championship.

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