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It's 'tee time' for golfers supporting Big Shoulders Fund for Catholic schools

Golfers, get ready to tap in to more than a short put. The 14th Annual Golf Classic is set for Monday, Aug. 11, at 2800 Country Club Dr., in Olympia Fields Country Club, to help fund education for the Friends of Big Shoulders Scholarship Fund.

This promotional image will be used to advertise the Big Shoulders Fund in Chicago on Aug. 11.
Photo Courtesy of Big Shoulders Fund

The Shotgun Start game will be at 11:00 a.m., with cocktails at 5 p.m., and dinner at 6 p.m.

Money from the Golf Classic event will be used to help raise funds for the Friends of Big Shoulders Scholarship Fund, one of 50 different scholarships for a K-12 demographic in Chicago Catholic schools. All funds for 2014 will be used for the 2014 to 2015 academic year. Student educational perks include everything from basic education supplies to more advanced classes, such as the investment stock education to science camp programs.

"Big Shoulders Fund has an endowment so that 100 percent of the funds we currently raise goes right back out to our schools," said Amelia Drozda, Director of Events and Service for the Big Shoulders Fund. "We distribute about $12 to $14 million a year for everything, from scholarships to professional development."

Big Shoulders Fund was started in 1986 by a group of Chicago businessmen lead by James "Jim" O'Connor, Monsignor Kenneth Velo and John A. Canning, Jr. In order for schools to be eligible, each facility must be in the City of Chicago, have at least 20 percent of students on free or reduced lunch, be a Title 1 school and be an Archdiocese Catholic School.

In the past 13 years, the Golf Classic has raised over $5.3 million for scholarships for inner-city children to receive a Catholic education.

"This has made a really significant impact in helping keep the students enrolled in the schools because all of our schools are in communities where the need is high," said Drozda. "These schools are really the way to get the education they deserve to break out of that cycle of poverty."

Attendees are also put in the running to win a Big Ticket Raffle for $30,000 (30 percent of golf ticket sales), live and silent auction packages at exclusive golf courses, sports boxes and plane tickets. So far over $225,000 in raffle prize winnings have been given out, in addition to over 3,600 rounds of golfing fun.

The highest attendance rate so far has been 288 golfers, and five foursomes are still available for the 2014 outing. Although there is no age requirement, Drozda confirmed that most of the golfers have been adults.

Ticket prices to attend range from $1,250 for an individual golfer to $5,000 for a foursome. Sponsorship rates are also available from $500 to $100,000.

For those who aren't golf enthusiasts, Big Shoulders Fund also encourages donations here. Dinner-only attendees can dine for $125.

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