Dear Ouimet Fund Friends,
On behalf of my fellow Ouimet Fund Directors, the staff, and the entire organization, I want to wish you and your family safety and health during what continues to be a difficult and unpredictable time.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has been a unique challenge in the history of this country, the Ouimet Fund, and for you and your family. There has been no person, no business, no organization which has not been changed by the pandemic. Across the board, 70% of Ouimet Scholars lost a job or internship this past summer, and since March, one out of every four saw a parent lose a job. So much has transpired for these families, and many were unsure of basic finances, let alone paying for college tuition. As an organization, we are incredibly thankful for the generous support so many have given to ensure that Ouimet Scholarships are possible for nearly 450 young men and women this school year. Your investment is imperative for these Ouimet Scholars, who are maintaining a 3.5 GPA and graduating at a 92% rate in four years. We truly cannot thank you enough for your continued commitment to the education of our young Ouimet Scholars.
In this first year as President, I have been so fortunate for the resolve and commitment of our closest friends. In April, we were forced to cancel our Annual Banquet and offer a virtual version of it a few weeks later. With the graciousness of Tom Kite and Master of Ceremonies Dave Marr III, and with the financial loyalty of our sponsors, including longtime presenting sponsor Dick Connolly, the presentation of the Ouimet Award was available to our friends from the safety of their homes. It was a special day to celebrate Mr. Kite, one of golf’s all-time great players, and showcase his Hall of Fame career and off the course life on our brand-new website while making an incredible impact on our scholarship budget.
In a year as volatile as this we were unsure if support of the Bag Tag Program, which is the financial foundation of our organization, would persist. Once golf reopened, we were so grateful to the 75 clubs across the state who remained committed to the Program. As a result, The Fund was able to maintain our goal of $2.5 million in need-based scholarship awards. To go along with this incredible commitment, many club representatives and dozens of new enthusiastic individuals participated in our inaugural Golf Sprint, which broke all fundraising records of its predecessor – the Golf Marathon. The generosity of these supporting clubs is vital to our organization, and we are incredibly grateful for their continued support.
We are excited about our new organizational structure, led by a committed Executive Committee, and I owe a huge thank you to all my fellow directors. When the outlook was at its most bleak in March, we committed to not reduce our Scholars’ awards and drive toward another $2.5 million, whatever it took. Our Board reached out and advocated for us at supporting clubs across the state to continue their aid in fundraising efforts of the Annual Banquet, the Bag Tag program, the Golf Sprint, and Endowed Scholarships. To coincide with our organizational restructure, we welcomed Colin McGuire as our new Executive Director and are so proud of the entire team for their direction and navigation through the uncharted waters of 2020.
We know that the impact of the pandemic will affect the financial need of Ouimet Scholar families beyond the new year, and we look forward to enhancing their experience and working to increase their scholarship awards.
For those in a position to do so, please consider our Lifetime Membership and Endowed Scholarship Program, both of which can be spread out over multiple years as necessary. Our Planned Giving Program will set us up for years to come and is another way to honor the legacy of you and your family. In addition to our growing list of participants in those programs, this fall our online Career Portal launched. This new benefit offers our partner companies a forum to post internships and job offerings for our Scholars and Alumni, who are poised to bring their hard-working values to your organization.
From mentoring Scholars on the course, to financing their higher-education and now leading them to career opportunities, the Ouimet impact is growing by the day. On behalf of all the Scholars, I wish you all the best in 2021 and again, thank you!
Ouimet Fund President