VERONA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The team of Hunter Mahan and Cristie Kerr outshot a competitive field of stars from the world of men’s and women’s golf and captured their second consecutive title at the fourth annual Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation Challenge. The duo finished the mixed team, best ball tournament at Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort Casino 11 under par, one shot clear of the runner-up pairing of Rickie Fowler and Annika Sorenstam. Not only did the NB3 Foundation Challenge provide an entertaining tournament for golf fans, the event also raised $500,000 for the NB3 Foundation, aiding the Foundation’s effort to improve health and wellness for youth in Native American communities across the country.
“Our event provides an incredible platform to raise awareness for the health issues – namely obesity and diabetes – that are affecting Native youth at a startlingly high rate,” said the event’s host and four-time PGA TOUR winner, Notah Begay III. “It’s through the support of great golfers, the Oneida Indian Nation and all those who attend that we’re able to continue our mission of building a sustainable movement empowering these kids to lead healthier, more successful lives. I’m so humbled and grateful for everyone’s contributions.”
A beautiful August morning in central New York welcomed a crowd of golf fans and eight elite golfers to the first tee box. The action on the course over all 18 holes – highlighted by dazzling shots and a crowded leader board – made this year’s NB3 Foundation Challenge one of the most memorable yet.
“It’s always fun to win, but the real fun and sense of satisfaction comes from being here to help Notah and his foundation raise money to fight obesity and diabetes among Native American youth and helping these kids lead better lives,” said Kerr.
“I admire Notah and his dedication to helping Native American youth,” said Mahan during the championship trophy presentation on Atunyote’s 18th green. “It’s a privilege to play with all these great golfers and be a part of something that helps create positive change in the Native American community.”
Ultimately, the real action from the 2011 NB3 Foundation Challenge happens outside the ropes, where all proceeds from the event go to the Notah Begay III Foundation, supporting its mission of leadership development and reversing the alarmingly disproportionate rate of obesity and type 2 diabetes among Native American youth. Funds raised at today’s event will go toward establishing two grant programs which will continue to leverage and empower community-based efforts for positive change for the health and futures of Native American youth. The NB3 Foundation will partner with the PGA of America to establish the NB3 Foundation Junior Golf Grants Program which will provide support and technical assistance grants to tribal schools and communities to enhance existing golf programs serving Native American youth. In addition, the Foundation will award soccer program support and technical assistance grants to tribal communities, Native nonprofits and schools for existing soccer programs serving Native youth that are committed to obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention and youth leadership development.
As in the past, the success of this year’s event is built on a strong partnership between Begay and the Oneida Indian Nation. Indian Nations, like Oneida, continue to make remarkable progress in building stronger futures for their youth and communities. The NB3 Foundation Challenge is an example of what Native groups can accomplish when unifying to address critical issues in Native American communities.
“The Oneida Indian Nation has always supported Notah, this event and the efforts of the Notah Begay III Foundation, and we’re proud to again partner with Notah this year,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises. “His vision to improve the lives of American Indian youth is something we share, and the work of his foundation to realize that vision is inspiring. We feel it’s an important responsibility to empower Native youth, and we will continue to support Notah and his initiatives designed to build stronger futures for our next generation.”