By Amanda Brennan
In 1930, Charles, better known as “Chick,” Evans, had a vision to help hardworking, dedicated students earn an opportunity to help pay for college. With the help of the Western Golf Association, Chick Evans started the Evans Scholar Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving golf caddies across the country. Since then, thousands of individuals have benefitted from his dream.
For Anthony Pasquale, president of the University of Illinois Evans Scholars Chapter, his passion for golf started when he was younger while golfing with his dad and twin brother. This passion continued to grow as he began caddying at the Ridgemoor Country Club right outside of Chicago in Harwood Heights. Now, he’s caddied there the past seven summers.
During his senior year at St. Patrick High School in Chicago, he began applying and interviewing for the Evans Scholar program. “Knowing the financial burden I could take off of my family just by working hard, it seemed like a no-brainer to keep doing it,” he said. “Wanting to go to a school like Illinois, and knowing that it wouldn’t have been possible without the Evans Scholarship, was the biggest motivating factor for me,” he added.
It is not always easy to keep going with caddying, especially when you are just starting out. Pasquale explained that the first couple of years are tough because you don’t know too many members yet and you normally have to wait to caddy until afternoon rounds start to come in. Now, as he has gotten older, he has a more regular schedule and knows who he will be caddying for the night before.
The University of Illinois Beta chapter is the largest Evans Scholar program in the country with 140 scholars on campus. Although many think they caddy for the University golf team during the school year, scholars only caddy while at home throughout their summers.
Pasquale is thankful that he is part of a community that has allowed him to connect with people he otherwise wouldn’t have. He encourages people who are passionate about golf to try caddying because the Evans Scholarship program wants to help as many young caddies as they can. One day, Pasquale hopes to give back to this organization himself in order to support future Evans Scholars build the same community he has.
Photo Credit: Anthony Pasquale