The giving spirit: supporters of the 2013 Patriot Golf Classic - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

The giving spirit: supporters of the 2013 Patriot Golf Classic

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Tyler, TX (KYTX) -- One of the biggest fundraisers for UT Tyler scholarships, doesn't happen overnight. Supporters spend almost a full year planning for next year's Patriot Golf Classic.

"It's an incredible opportunity for us to give back to the community," Randy Childress, Chairman of the 2013 Patriot Classic, said.

For some like David Irwin, supporting UT Tyler actually hits home.

"My daughter is in the nursing school, and my son will be going next year," Irwin, a Classic Society Member, said.

As a parent of two future alums, and someone who lives in Tyler, he wants to help the university in whatever way he can.

"It used to be 3,000 students and right now it's almost 8,000 students. And the only way a university can grow like that in a community the size of Tyler, is with the support of the community," Irwin said.

The generous spirit seems to be catching on.

 "Tyler is a giving city for sure," Linda Rudd, another Classic Society Member, said.

Rudd and Steve Hellmuth say the reward is in seeing students who depend on these scholarships.

"They come up to say thank you, I was not able to do this without you and other people's help," Hellmuth, a Classic Society Member, said.

Last year the Patriot Classic raised more than $177,200 for general scholarships. It was the most in the history of the fundraiser.

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