MCKINNEY, TX – The inaugural Choctaw Nation Gaming & Hospitality Golf Tournament raised $229,000 for the Chahta Foundation, which assists Choctaw tribal members in their pursuit of higher education. The tournament was held at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, TX, with Choctaw Casinos & Resorts gaming and hospitably partners playing for a cause. After a full day of golf and camaraderie, a reception was held to recognize scholarship recipients and highlight the importance of the Chahta Foundation and providing a path for future leaders in the gaming and hospitality industry.
The Chahta Foundation awarded ten scholarships, each worth ten $10,000 to Choctaw students pursuing a degree in hospitality management, hotel management, business, economics and marketing at a vocational, two-year or four-year institution.
“This type of scholarship is a life changer for students,” said Seth Fairchild, Executive Director of the Chahta Foundation. “The Chahta Foundation is a 501(c)(3), and because of our relationship with the Choctaw Nation, we are able to dedicate every dollar toward scholarships. Usually, when you donate to a non-profit, about 70 cents of every dollar goes toward overhead costs. The Choctaw Nation covers all of our overhead costs, so every dollar raised goes directly toward programming and is matched one-to-one by Choctaw Nation.”
Recipients Raleigh Callandret, Bryleigh Pilgreen, Alexander Robinson and Kristen Wright were in attendance and received not only checks, but also praise for their ambition and dedication. The full list of students who received this year’s scholarship includes:
- Solomon Lopez from Springdale, AR
- Stella Henderson from Somerville, MA
- Alexander Robinson from Bokchito, OK
- Bryleigh Pilgreen from Durant, OK
- Haili Harris from Newcastle, OK
- Jose Gonzalez from Durant, OK
- Kristen Wright from Tulsa, OK
- Raleigh Callandret from Durant, OK
- Allen Brott from Mitchell, SD
- Gabriel Pavlovsky from Georgetown, TX
The event concluded with awards for the longest drive and closest to the pin, as well as a raffle that featured items from the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Byron Nelson and Coca-Cola.
“I can’t say enough about how proud we are to bring this tournament to life and to see how quickly this all came together to raise money for students,” said Erica Kosemund, Senior Director of Gaming Brand and Partnership. “We know this investment in our students will come back full-circle and benefit the Choctaw Nation and the Choctaw people. We are excited to grow and make this bigger and better next year.”