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Six area students earn prestigious scholarships

Recipients of the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship to study at Purdue

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 10:25 pm

The Western Golf Association has awarded six high school students from the Fort Wayne area the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship, a full tuition and housing college scholarship, beginning this fall.

The students were awarded the scholarship to Purdue University in West Lafayette, where they will live in the Evans Scholarship House on campus.

The scholarship is valued at more than $70,000 over four years and the recipients include:

* Benjamin Eichhorn; Bellmont High School; caddy at Orchard Ridge Country Club

* Karly Gotschall; Homestead High School; caddy at Sycamore Hills Golf Club

* Tyler Ohlwine; Norwell High School; caddy at Orchard Ridge Country Club

* Cody Rice; Bishop Dwenger High School; caddy at Sycamore HIlls Golf Club

* Maria Schafer; Bishop Dwenger High School; caddy at Fort Wayne Country Club

* Frank Vandeputte; Bishop Dwenger High School; caddy at Sycamore Hills Golf Club

“It is very exciting to welcome the New Scholars from Fort Wayne to the WGA/ESF family,” Johnston Erwin, lead WGA Director in the state of Indiana, said in a release. "The combination of education and social adaption skills they gain from the Scholarship offer our students a truly exceptional collegiate experience. By living in the Evans Scholarship House, they will be a part of a valuable support system.”

The WGA will conduct the Hotel Fitness Championship, a Web.com Tour Finals event, at Sycamore Hills Golf Club beginning on Aug. 26. All proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Evans Scholars and local Fort Wayne charities.

Evans Scholars 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, headquartered in Golf, Ill., has overseen the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. It is among the nation's largest privately funded scholarship programs.

In Indiana, the Indiana Golf Association co-sponsors the program with the WGA/ESF. Recipients were chosen after individual candidate interviews. Additional scholarships may be awarded in the spring.

Currently, 835 caddies are enrolled in colleges across the nation as Evans Scholars, including 55 at Indiana University and 37 at Purdue. Nearly 9,600 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars – including 560 from Indiana and 414 from Purdue - since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans, Jr.

“These young men and women have been outstanding students in the classroom and leaders in both their schools and communities,” John Kaczkowski, WGA president and CEO said. “We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family and know they will continue their success as college students.”

Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 45,000 golfers across the country who are members of the WGA Evans Scholars Par Club. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $4 million annually, and proceeds from both the BMW Championship, a PGA TOUR FedExCup playoff event, and Hotel Fitness Championship are donated to Evans Scholars.