Student-led charity golf tournament reaches endowment goal

By Alex Branch

TCOM Tee
 
In 2012, medical students Sammy Lee Chong and Nicole Hocevar Howerton helped brainstorm ideas for students to work together for a good cause outside the classroom.

They started Tee Off F.O.R.E. TCOM, a golf tournament that raised money for student scholarships at UNT Health Science Center.

Neither student knew how to organize a golf tournament. But with help from the university’s facilities and institutional advancement teams, they made signs and found sponsors, and the tournament successfully raised $5,000.

“You know, we hoped the golf tournament would become tradition but your third and fourth years in medical school take you off campus for clinic experience,” recalled Chong, a 2015 Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduate. “We knew that would be up to future students and not us.”

Almost six years later, Chong’s cell phone rang in Houston, where he is finishing his third year of residency in Emergency Medicine. It was Kevin Honan, a second-year medical student, calling to tell Chong that the 2017 golf tournament had pushed the total money raised over $25,000 — the amount needed for the scholarship to become endowed.

“That was really cool to hear,” Chong said. “Not only had the current students kept the tournament going but they kept making it better and better.”

Honan said medical students were proud to continue the TCOM legacy. This year students with the Medical Student Government Association (MSGA) organized the fundraising event at Top Golf, an entertainment venue and driving range in Fort Worth.

“We wanted to do something different; something a little more intimate,” Honan said. “This way, even students or people who don’t really play golf are included.”

Regions Bank, members of the UNTHSC Foundation Board of Directors and faculty members were among the key donors or sponsors for the event, which raised more than $12,000, he said.

The scholarship, named the MSGA Above and Beyond Scholarship, each year will award $1,000 to a deserving student, said Amy Owen, a third-year medical student who helped organize the 2017 fundraiser.

“The MSGA has been working toward completing the endowment my entire tenure at TCOM,” Owen said. “What a nice feeling it is to help realize the dreams of our predecessors.”

Scholarship info

For information on how you can support the MSGA Above and Beyond Scholarship, contact Lee Ann Embry, Corporate Relations Assistant Director, at LeeAnn.Embry@unthsc.edu or 817.735.0204.

 

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