VERONA, N.Y. - Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter and four-time PGA TOUR winner Notah Begay III announced the format and field for the sixth annual Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation Challenge, an annual fundraising event supporting the NB3 Foundation’s mission to raise awareness and funding for the improved health and wellness of Native American youth nationwide. Halbritter and Begay detailed the star-studded field who will play at Turning Stone Resort Casino’s world-class Atunyote® Golf Club on Wednesday, Aug. 28, for the sixth edition of what’s grown to be the largest fundraising event across Indian Country each year. The field, headlined by 14-time major champion and 78-time PGA TOUR winner Tiger Woods, includes PGA TOUR stars such as Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler, Charl Schwartzel, K.J. Choi and Henrik Stenson.
Through the support of elite golfers who participate, spectators who flock to Turning Stone and the Oneida Indian Nation partnership, the event has raised more than $4 million in the past five years. All proceeds from the tournament directly benefit the Notah Begay III Foundation and its ongoing work in Native communities.
“We continue to be proud of Notah and our partnership with the NB3 Foundation Challenge,” said Halbritter. “Empowering our young people to achieve their dreams and improve our communities is of critical importance to creating an impact across Indian Country. We sincerely thank the incredible professional golfers and great golf fans of Central New York whose support helps make that vision a reality.”
“While the Challenge’s format and field may change slightly year to year, what remains constant is our focus on raising awareness and funding to fight obesity and type II diabetes among Native youth,” said Begay. “It’s shocking to see the disproportionately high rate at which these afflictions affect our young people. We, as a community, need to work to create change and reverse these statistics, and that can’t happen without support and resources. I’m so humbled by all the golfers who will be here in August to lend their support to our cause, as well as the Oneida Indian Nation and all those who donate to our Foundation to make possible our work of empowering Native youth to lead active, healthy and productive lives.”
The overwhelming support the golf community and the Oneida Nation has enabled the Foundation to successfully launch, sustain and expand programming developed and implemented by Native staff to address the daunting health and wellness issues present in Native American communities throughout the country, especially among Native youth.
The core of NB3F’s mission is to reduce the incidences of obesity and diabetes and advance the lives of Native American youth through evidence-based sports, health and wellness programming. NB3F has established itself as a leader in research, advocacy and strategic grantmaking in Native American communities, beyond its proven record of developing sustainable, replicable, evidence-based programs. More than 15,000 Native youth have benefitted from NB3F programs, including soccer and golf programs. In 2012 findings, John Hopkins reported these programs have contributed to statistically significant declines in average BMI among the children served, and that these children showed positive changes in self-esteem, peer leadership and knowledge about nutrition. The positive impact of programs funded by proceeds generated by NB3F highlights the meaningful change Native groups can create through collaborative efforts. Turning Stone Resort Casino, which hosts the NB3 Challenge, is an economic enterprise of the Oneida Indian Nation.
This year’s NB3 Challenge will feature an expanded field of golfers. The twelve who will play in this year’s tournament will represent three teams – Team USA, comprised of golfers from the United States, Team Asia, which includes golfers from Asian nations and Team International, a collection of golfers from Europe and South Africa. As with year’s past, the field will compete in a combined best-ball format. Each team will include two pairs playing best-ball and the combined score of those two pairs will constitute the final score for that team.
Among those joining Begay on Team USA is one of the world’s most recognized athletes, Tiger Woods. Woods has competed in the NB3 Challenge four times, evidence of his great friendship with Begay and his passion for supporting the NB3F mission. Rickie Fowler, who has competed in three previous NB3 Challenges, also will return to Turning Stone. Fowler, like Begay, has a personal connection to the work of NB3F. Fowler is one-fourth Navajo. Rounding out Team USA is Bo Van Pelt, a PGA TOUR veteran and owner of victories on five different professional tours around the globe.
Team Asia features PGA TOUR veteran and eight-time PGA TOUR winner K.J. Choi, decorated Asian Tour veteran and PGA TOUR pro Charlie Wi, and a pair of up-and-coming stars – 2012 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year John Huh, who became the first person of Korean descent to earn that honor, and James Hahn, who emerged on the scene last year with his first professional victory.
Team International is led by former world No. 1 and 40-time professional winner Lee Westwood. Joining Westwood on Team International will be 2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel, as well as Nicolas Colsaerts, who emerged as one of the stars on the winning European team from the 2012 Ryder Cup, and Henrik Stenson, a top-flight European professional, 2009 Players Champion and former top five in the world rankings.
Tickets for the 2013 NB3 Challenge are on sale now, and may be purchased by contacting the Turning Stone Box Office at 315-361-SHOW (7469) or visiting the Box Office which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $50 for adults. Youth admission for 16 and under is provided complimentary with purchase of an adult ticket (must be requested at time of original purchase). Active Military receive a 50 percent discount upon presentation of a valid military I.D. Overnight packages also are available by calling 1-800-771-7711.
For more information about the NB3 Challenge, visit: www.nb3foundation.org.
Notah Begay III, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Bo Van Pelt
K.J. Choi, Charlie Wi, John Huh, James Hahn
Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Nicolas Colsaerts, Henrik Stenson