East Texans look forward to the UT Tyler Patriot Golf Classic every year, and it's just a few weeks away. Every year, local businesses raise thousands of dollars, and it all stays right here to help the community.
"This is me, doing what I think is right as a member of the community,” said David Irwin, a long-time donor and the general manager at Tyler Ford.
Irwin donates to several organization around East Texas, but he said he’s donated to the Patriot Golf Classic for nearly 15 years.
"I'm a firm believer that the businesses in the community should give back to the community,” he said.
Over the past 31 years, donors like Irwin contributed a total of $2 million, all going towards scholarships for UT Tyler students.
The 2016 Patriot Golf Classic alone raised $175,029.97.
"There’s eight thousand kids doing what every kid trying to get through college is doing, and that's struggling to get through school,” Irwin said, talking about the students at UT Tyler.
He said it's tough paying for college and knows firsthand.
"Money is tight. I went in the military for the GI Bill to be able to fund it. That's an extreme environment to go through to have to pay for college,” he said.
In addition to the general Patriot Golf Classic scholarships awarded annually, two students are awarded either a full or half-scholarship for the next school year.
The classic is on Monday, May 22 at the Hollytree Country Club. Registration ends on Friday, May 19. The entry fee is $2,500 for each team of four players. For information on registering, contact Tabitha Ostmeyer at UT Tyler by email at email@example.com or phone at (903) 566-7455.