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Spotlight: Patriot Golf Classic scholarship money at work

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Tyler, TX (KYTX)--  It's a UT Tyler tradition that shattered records last year. The UTT Patriot Golf Classic raises money every year for college scholarships, and hopes to reach new heights again.

It's the number one reason keeping some high schoolers from pursuing college-- the cost.

"It's incredibly hard, and I don't know how a lot of students manage to pay for everything," Emily Dickenson, a UT Tyler Senior, said.

She says she wouldn't have stepped foot on campus, without financial aid.

"Three weeks before I started college I had a son, and so I didn't think that college was going to be a possibility for me. But because of the scholarships I've been given, I've accomplished my dream," Dickenson said.

She receives the Patriot Scholarship from UT Tyler every year for her ACT score.

"Between scholarships the university has given me and outside scholarships, my college education has been completely funded. I haven't had to go into any debt which is a blessing, because my family wouldn't have been able to provide me with a college education," Dickenson said.

The Patriot Golf Classic helps people like Dickenson, funneling dollars into the general scholarship fund.

"We're benefiting scholarships across the board for people that are going to graduate from UT Tyler, and a lot of them are going to be employed in Tyler. This is a huge economic benefit for our town," Randy Childress, Chairman of the 2013 Patriot Golf Classic, said.

Last year the Patriot Classic raised more than $177,000. "That was the largest amount we had ever raised in the 26-year history of the tournament," Childress said.

And students like Dickenson want organizers of the tournament to know their hard work doesn't go unnoticed.

"I know it's fun, but I hope the people who participate also know what a good thing they are doing for us," Dickenson said.

The Classic kicks off on May 20th. We have information about how to give an outside donation under our the Hot Button tab on the home page.

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